So you started taking CBD oil in place of regular marijuana because you Reason #2 for Failed Drug Test After Taking CBD Oil: “THC Contamination” of a likelihood that you'll encounter “THC contamination” from an online. Taking CBD oil before bed to improve sleep quality, manage pain, and generally feel better. With that being said, there are still a few reasons why someone would fail a drug test after taking CBD oil THC contamination could also occur when buying CBD oil extracted Reason #2: Second-Hand Smoke. Reason #2: “THC Contamination”. Another potential reason for a failed drug test after CBD use could be due to other THC-containing products that may have spilled Some Final Thoughts on Why You Failed a Drug Test After Taking CBD Oil.
After Taking Contamination” CBD Test Reason #2 for “THC Failed Drug Oil:
These endogenous substances are considered endocannabinoids because they activate CB1 cannabinoid receptors and produce effects that are consistent with CB1 cannabinoid receptor activation.
Moreover, the synthetic and degradative pathways for anandamide and 2- arachidonoylglycerol have been identified in relevant tissues. There is substantial evidence that a calcium-dependent, energy-independent transacylase transfers arachidonic acid from the sn-1 position of phosphatidylcholine to the amino group in phosphatidylethanolamine to form N-arachidonoyl-phosphatidylethanolamine, with subsequent hydrolysis by a phospholipase D-type enzyme to form anandamide Inactivation of anandamide occurs primarily via fatty acid amide hydrolase, an enzyme that has been cloned Blockade or deletion of this enzyme in mice greatly potentiates the actions of exogenously administered anandamide Diacylglycerol lipase synthesizes 2-arachidonoylglycerol This enzyme is required for axonal growth during development and for retrograde synaptic signaling at mature synapses.
The inactivation of 2-arachidonoylglycerol occurs by a monoglyceride lipase Both of these synthetic and degradative 2- arachidonoylglycerol enzymes have been cloned. The discovery that the endogenous cannabinoid system consists of two receptor subtypes, signaling pathways, endogenous ligands, and synthetic and metabolic pathways for these ligands provided unique opportunities to understand the mechanisms through which cannabinoids produce their effects.
More importantly, the endogenous cannabinoid system provides a means for verifying whether cannabinoids are acting directly or indirectly to produce their wide range of pharmacological effects. At the Martin same time, the functional role of the endogenous cannabinoid system in normal physiological processes, as well as in disease states, is beginning to emerge. This chapter is confined to appetite, emesis, pain, and drug dependence. It is therefore not surprising that appetite is regulated by a highly complex integration of hormonal and neuronal systems to maintain homeostasis.
Disruptions of these homeostatic mechanisms can result in either food deprivation or excess eating. Appetite is also easily disrupted in many disease states, such as cancer and HIV infection.
There is ample evidence that the endogenous cannabinoid system plays a role in appetite homeostasis. Although both marijuana and THC have been shown to stimulate appetite, direct evidence for the involvement of cannabinoid receptors was provided by a study in which CB1 receptor knockout mice ate less than wild-type mice following food restriction The selective antagonist, rimonabant SR , provided additional support for CB1 receptor involvement in that this compound reduced food intake in wild-type but not CB1 knockout mice There are several lines of evidence indicating that the brain is a prominent site for cannabinoid regulation of appetite.
For example, the hypothalamus contains both CB1 receptors and the endocannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol. Direct injections of anandamide into the hypothalamus of rats induced hyperphagia, an effect that was blocked by the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant In addition, there is evidence of an interrelationship between the endocannabinoids and leptin, a key anorexigenic agent that is secreted by adipose tissue and acts within the hypothalamus at the arcuate nucleus to suppress appetite-stimulating peptides and stimulate the activity of appetite- reducing peptides.
Di Marzo et al. A second central component of cannabinoid-mediated food intake likely involves reward pathways and the hedonic aspect of eating.
Fasting increases levels of anadamide and 2- arachidonoylglycerol in the nucleus accumbens, a brain structure crucial for reward Levels of endocannabinoids were not changed in satiated rats. In diet-induced obese rats there was a significant decrease in CB1 receptor density in hippocampus, cortex, nucleus accumbens, and entopeduncular nucleus, but not in hypothalamus Collectively, these data strongly implicate a central mechanism for endocannabinoid influence on diet.
There are also several suggestions that endocannabinoids act peripherally to regulate metabolism. At present, there is no evidence Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids that CB1 receptor agonists produce opposing effects. Nevertheless, these findings suggest that the endocannabinoid system may have a direct effect on energy balance and lipid metabolism. Based on the above findings, it seems logical that the endocannabinoid system could be manipulated for the purpose of treating either weight loss or obesity Indeed, one of the most consistent effects of smoking marijuana is an increase in appetite.
A recent study compared marijuana smoking with oral THC, and both treatments increased food intake However, the results in patient populations have been less definitive. They reported modest improvement in appetite and mood along with stabilization in weight. Several early investigations showed that THC increased appetite in cancer patients 52, More recently, Jatoi et al. They found that megestrol acetate provided superior anorexia palliation among advance cancer patients.
On the other hand, Nelson et al. Most patients completed the day study and experienced improved appetite. With regard to the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant, it has been shown to be effective in reducing food intake in both laboratory animals described earlier and in promoting weight loss in humans during recent phase III clinical trials. In contrast to the predominant role of the hypothalamus in appetite, the postrema-nucleus tractus solatarius in the brainstem plays an essential role in emesis.
Additionally, the dopaminergic, cholinergic, and serotonergic systems in the gastrointestinal tract can contribute to emesis. Several animal studies indicate a direct role for endocannabinoid modulation of emesis. Similar findings were reported with cannabinoid agonists that attenuated lithium-induced vomiting in the musk shrew 57, In addition, combinations of inactive doses of THC and ondansetron were effective in blocking vomiting in the musk shrew The musk shrew has also been used to study conditioned retching, an animal model of anticipatory nausea and vomiting.
THC completely suppressed conditioned retching in this model In addition, cannabinoid agonists suppressed lithium-induced conditioned rejection, a model of nausea in rats Opioids are known to be powerful emetogenic agents. Activation of the cannabinoid system was also effective in blocking opioid-induced vomiting in ferrets CB1 cannabinoid receptors were strongly implicated in that rimonabant blocked the action of cannabinoid agonists in this model.
Importantly, Darmani et al. The exact nature of the role played by endocannabinoids is unclear at this time. A metabolically stable analog of anandamide blocked vomiting, whereas another endocannabinoid, 2- arachidonoylglycerol, was emetogenic These reports led to clinical studies with THC in which it was found to be useful in patients whose chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting were refractory to other standard antiemetics available at that time In addition, the incidence of psychotropic effects from THC appeared to be decreased by concomitant administration of prochlorperazine.
The combination was significantly more effective than was either single agent in controlling chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting Nabilone, a synthetic derivative of THC, was also reported to be an effective oral antiemetic drug for moderately toxic chemotherapy Cannabinoids have also been found to be effective in treating nausea and vomiting in children undergoing chemotherapy 66, As for the current status of antiemetics, serotonergic anatagonists such as ondansetron have become the standards for managing emesis.
These agents have proven to be effective in preventing chemotherapy-induced nausea and vomiting in most patients. However, delayed nausea and vomiting are less well controlled. Therefore, the search for more effective agents continues.
Combination therapy with ondansetron and THC has not been fully explored. In addition, there is a need for a higher-efficacy CB1 receptor agonist with fewer side effects. PAIN Animal studies have firmly established cannabinoid-induced analgesia in a wide array of acute and chronic pain models Most of this evidence is based on CB1 receptor agonists such as THC and related synthetic derivatives.
It has been firmly established that these effects are being mediated through the endocannabinoid system. First, there is an excellent correlation between cannabinoid analgesics and their affinity for the CB1 receptor Second, the CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant is effective in blocking the analgesic effects of cannabinoid agonists 70, As expected, the endogenous ligands anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol exhibit analgesic properties when administered to laboratory animals 34, Mice with genetic deletion of fatty acid amidohydrolase, the enzyme that hydrolyzes anandamide, exhibit enhanced analgesic activity with exogenously administered anandamide More importantly, these animals have elevated endogenous anandamide levels as well as an increased pain threshold, evidence that supports a physiological role for endocannabinoids in pain perception.
Additional evidence for endocannabinoid pain modulation includes cannabinoid suppression of spinal and thalamic nociceptive neurons, identification of spinal, supraspinal, and peripheral sites of action, as well as evidence that endocannabinoids are released upon electrical stimulation of the periaqueductal gray and following inflammation in the periphery 73, Although nociceptive events will stimulate the release of endocannabinoids, the exact nature of their actions on pain neurotransmission remains to be fully established.
CB1 receptors are located predominantly on presynaptic terminals, and their activation results in the inhibition of the neurotransmitter released at this site. Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids examined the distribution of CB1 receptors in rat dorsal root ganglion and found them present in only a subset of neurons containing substance P and calcitonin gene-related peptide There is evidence for localization of CB1 receptors on neurons containing endogenous opioids.
Welch and Stevens 76 demonstrated that cannabinoid agonists potentiated morphine analgesia in laboratory animals. This laboratory later demonstrated that THC, but not anandamide, stimulates the release of dynorphin A While there is an abundance of data illustrating interactions between the opioid and cannabinoid systems, the exact nature of these interactions remains to be elucidated.
Although there is strong evidence that the endocannabinoid system regulates pain pathways, the effectiveness of CB1 agonists as analgesics has been equivocal.
Despite intense efforts to develop cannabinoid analgesics, there has been little success in devising a CB1 receptor agonist that is devoid of behavioral effects. For example, Noyes et al. As for synthetic cannabinoid derivatives that might be useful as analgesics, nabitan is one such analog that was evaluated in at least two studies.
On the other hand, another research group 13 reported analgesia comparable to that of codeine in cancer patients. Levonantradol, another cannabinoid derivative, elicited some benefit for postoperative surgical pain but only at doses that produced significant behavioral disturbances Several recent clinical studies have found THC to lack sufficient efficacy in postoperative pain 81 , neuropathic pain 82 , and refractory neuropathic pain On the other hand, THC was found to exert some benefit in treating intractable neuropathic pain in two adolescents A review of clinical studies regarding cannabinoid agonist treatment of cancer pain led the author to conclude that the present studies do not justify the use of cannabinoid agonists for pain management The evidence suggests that the CB1 receptor agonists that have been developed thus far are unlikely to be highly efficacious in controlling high-intensity pain.
However, the possibility remains that they might be useful in more moderate pain, particularly in case in which some of the typical cannabinoid side effects sedation, dizziness, etc. Theoretically, CB1 receptor agonists should be effective as adjuvants to other analgesics. Numerous preclinical studies have shown that THC will enhance opioid analgesia. However, in a recent study in human experimental pain models, THC offered relatively small additive analgesic effects when combined with morphine It remains to be determined whether similar results would occur in pain patients.
There are several possible explanations for the discrepancy between the analgesic effects of CB1 receptor agonists in laboratory animals and humans. Certainly, higher doses can be administered to laboratory animals, and hence greater analgesic effects achieved, than in humans. Pharmacokinetics may also play a very important part. The studies that have been carried out thus far have relied on oral administration of THC, a route that does not allow for easy optimization of treatment. Efforts are underway to develop alternative formulations of THC to allow for other routes of administration.
A water-soluble analog of THC has been developed that may be appropriate for intravenous use There have been recent studies demonstrating that topical administration of cannabinoids produce analgesic effects Moreover, topical administration produced a synergistic interaction with spinally administered cannabinoids. A separate group of investigators reported an analgesic interaction between topical opioids and cannabinoids administered either topically or spinally These observations reinforce the notion that treatment regimens of opioid and cannabinoids combinations have yet to be optimized clinically.
Unfortunately, a topical preparation of THC or related cannabinoid is not yet available for clinical use. Another attractive approach is the inhalation route. An inhalation formulation of THC was developed years ago, but unfortunately it produced bronchial irritation The recent develop of a THC aerosol delivered through a metered-dose inhaler holds promise The discussion so far has been devoted to nonselective CB1 and CB2 agonists, such as THC, because most of the analgesic literature has been generated with these compounds.
The discovery of the CB2 receptor in nonneuronal tissues such as immune cells attracted interest in its potential modulation of immune function. However, there are now numerous reports that CB2 selective agonists have analgesic properties. One such CB2 selective agonist is AM , which was shown to be highly active in a thermal pain model in rats It was also shown to suppress capsaicin-induced hyperalgesia HU is another CB2 selective agonist that has been reported to produce analgesic effects in rodents The advantage of these compounds is that they are devoid of the behavioral effects produced by CB1 selective agonists.
At present there are no reports of clinical efficacy of CB2 selective agonists. It is clear that a major physical withdrawal syndrome does not occur upon abrupt cessation of marijuana use. Certainly, dependence on many substances occurs without a prominent physical aspect of the syndrome. What is clear is that continual use of marijuana can lead to dependence as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 4th ed.
In actual fact, an abrupt cannabinoid withdrawal syndrome was described in humans following discontinuation of a rather rigorous treatment regimen of THC 96, Studies in more recent times have used treatment regimens that more closely reflect typical marijuana use patterns and have also demonstrated an abstinence symptom that included subjective effects of anxiety, irritability, and stomach pain, as well as decreases in food intake, following abrupt withdrawal from continued administration of either oral THC 98 or marijuana smoke inhalation There have been several efforts to devise strategies for treating marijuana dependence.
The antidepressant nefazodone provided partial relief They also demonstrated that oral THC decreased marijuana craving and withdrawal signs during abstinence Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids Demonstrating a well-defined abstinence withdrawal syndrome following prolonged cannabinoid administration in laboratory animals also presented challenges.
Several unconditional behavioral effects, including hyperirritability, tremors, and anorexia, were reported to occur during THC abstinence , while other studies failed to observe abrupt withdrawal effects following chronic THC administration in dogs or rats , Abrupt withdrawal from chronic THC has been reported in rhesus monkeys The fact that readministration of THC reversed the withdrawal effects suggested that the animals were cannabinoid-dependent.
The development of rimonabant 70 , a selective CB1 receptor cannabinoid antagonist, represented the first opportunity to determine whether a physical withdrawal syndrome could be precipitated with an antagonist challenge. Antagonist-precipitated withdrawal is much easier and more reliable to quantitate than withdrawal following abrupt cessation of the dependence- producing drug. Indeed, a robust withdrawal syndrome was observed in THCtreated rats that were challenged with rimonabant , Subsequent studies verified precipitated withdrawal in both mice and dogs Another contribution of rimonabant was that it enabled investigators to carefully document the symptoms of withdrawal as well as the time course, both of which are critical for assessing abrupt withdrawal.
Subsequently, Aceto et al. Although it was important to demonstrate that abrupt and precipitated withdrawal can be documented, most dependence-producing agents will also be self-administered by laboratory animals. Unfortunately, THC is not readily self-administered by animals. There was an early report that rats would self-administer THC However, it has not been an easy task to get rats to self-administer cannabinoids It has now been shown that THC can be reliably self-administered in squirrel monkeys , There is now increasing knowledge that the endocannabinoid system participates in dependence on drugs other than THC.
There has always been considerable interest in the interactions of cannabinoids and opioids as it relates to dependence. Naloxone has been reported to precipitate withdrawal effects in rats treated chronically with THC , Conversely, naloxone was ineffective in precipitating withdrawal in THC-dependent monkeys , pigeons , or mice It has long been known that THC produces a moderate attenuation of naloxone-precipitated withdrawal in morphine-dependent mice , and rats , The endogenous cannabinoids anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol have both been reported to decrease naloxone-induced morphine withdrawal.
CB1 receptor knockout mice exhibited substantial decreases in both morphine self-administration and naloxone-precipitated morphine withdrawal In addition, rimonabant reduced the rewarding responses of morphine in the conditioned place preference paradigm Co-administration of rimonabant and morphine led to decreases in naloxone-precipitated wet dog shakes and jumping but had no effects on other indices of opioid withdrawal, including paw tremors, ptosis, sniffing, and body tremors Repeated administration of rimonabant in rats Martin implanted with morphine pellets reduced some, but not all, naloxone precipitated withdrawal effects The converse also appears to be true, in that opioid receptors may play a modulatory role on cannabinoid dependence.
Rimonabant-precipitated THC withdrawal symptoms were significantly diminished in pre-proenkephalin-deficient mice compared to the wild-type mice These findings implicate a role for opioid system in the modulation of cannabinoid dependence. The finding that modulation of the endocannabinoid system is capable of influencing opioid dependence—and vice versa—raises the possibility that the CB1 receptor antagonist might influence opioid dependence.
Indeed, Navarro et al. Several other laboratories evaluated CB1 receptor agonists and antagonists for their ability to influence reinstatement of heroin self-administration , They found that several CB1 receptor agonists restored heroin-seeking behavior, whereas rimonabant prevented reinstatement. The question arises as to whether the endocannabinoid system is involved in dependence to drugs other than opioids.
De Vries et al. In addition, rimonabant attenuated relapse induced by re-exposure to cocaine-associated cues or cocaine itself, but not relapse induced by exposure to stress. These findings suggest that the endocannabinoid system plays a greater role in relapse to cocaine use than in maintaining cocaine selfadministration. Another drug that is frequently used in conjunction with marijuana is alcohol.
There are several indications that the endocannabinoid system may influence alcohol intake. It has been shown that rimonabant will decrease alcohol self-administration in laboratory animals and that alcohol preference is reduced by rimonabant Also, alcohol withdrawal symptoms are absent in CB1 receptor knockout mice, which provides further support for a role of the endocannabinoid system in alcohol dependence.
Rimonabant has also been evaluated for its potential effects on the motivational effects of nicotine in the rat Rimonabant decreased nicotine self-administration but did not substitute for nicotine nor antagonize the nicotine cue in a nicotine-discrimination procedure. It also blocked nicotine-induced dopamine release in the shell of the nucleus accumbens and the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis Dopamine release induced by ethanol in the nucleus accumbens was also reduced by rimonabant.
The fact that the endocannabinoid system is an active participant in the dependence on a wide range of drugs argues that it may play a fundamental role in the perturbation of reward pathways that underlie drug dependence. These results suggest that activation of the endogenous cannabinoid system may participate in the motivational and dopamine-releasing effects of nicotine and ethanol as well as possibly other Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids drugs of abuse.
Thus, CB1 receptor antagonists may be effective in treating drug dependence induced by opioids, psychomotor stimulants, nicotine, and ethanol, in addition to marijuana. SUMMARY Because the endocannabinoid system represents an important target for addressing symptoms arising from numerous disease states, the ability to manipulate this system becomes of paramount importance.
At present, the only means of activating the endocannabinoid system is with CB1 and CB2 receptor agonists. The disadvantage of CB1 receptor agonists is that they have a broad pharmacological spectrum of action that limits their clinical utility.
Attempts to develop CB1 receptor agonists that have improved the therapeutic-to-adverse effect ratio have met with limited success. However, the new evidence that is emerging regarding the multiple signaling pathways activated by the CB1 receptor provides encouragement that development of agonists with improved pharmacological profile is possible.
Moreover, structure—activity relationship studies continually provide new chemical templates for agents that activate the CB1 receptor. In the near term, the most likely success will come from new formulations of current CB1 receptor agonists that are already approved for clinical use. As for selective CB2 receptor agonists, there is intense interest in these compounds as potential therapeutic agents because they will be devoid of the behavioral effects that currently plague the CB1 receptor agonists.
The fact that selective CB2 receptor agonists have been found to be effective in some animal models of pain provides an exciting possibility for development of new analgesics.
Efforts are also underway to develop inhibitors of the enzymes that degrade anandamide. Indeed, deletion of this enzyme in mice through genetic engineering resulted in elevated anandamide levels and increased resistance to pain Highly potent inhibitors of this enzyme have also been synthesized By elevating anandamide levels, these inhibitors represent an entirely new strategy for activating the endocannabinoid system. Elevation of 2-arachidonoylglycerol levels could occur through the blockade of monoglyceride lipase, the enzyme that metabolizes this endocannabinoid There are at present no selective inhibitors of this enzyme.
It is also abundantly clear that attenuating the endocannabinoid system has important therapeutic uses. The CB1 receptor antagonist rimonabant has been shown to be effective in both animal models and clinical trials for treatment of decreased appetite and increased weight loss.
Moreover, it has been shown to alter alcohol, cocaine, heroin, and nicotine dependence. Another potential means of attenuating the endocannabinoid system is through inhibition of the synthesis of anandamide and 2- arachidonolyglycerol. Although these enzymes have been identified, there are at present no inhibitors shown to have potential as therapeutic agents in, for example, obesity or drug dependence. Isolation, structure, and partial synthesis of an active constituent of hashish. Psychiatry 17, — Classification of cannabinoid receptors.
Therapeutic Potential of Cannabinoids Pharmacology of the response in neuroblastoma cell membranes. USA 98, — Psychopharmacology Berl , — Anesthesiology 94, — New Drugs 6, — Correlation of receptor binding and in vivo activities. Inhibition of delta tetrahydrocannabinol-induced responses and apparent agonist activity.
A qualitative systematic review. Tolerance to the stimulus effects. Science , — The unique features of immunoglobulins and technological advancement in antibody engineering and manipulation have made antibodies the most versatile binding reagents for detecting analytes of interest in a variety of matrices. The term immunoassay is customarily used to denote antibody-mediated analytical procedures; however, there are assortments of nomenclature for various immunoassay techniques that usually are named after the reaction principle of the particular immunoassay format.
A number of immunoassay technologies have been applied to the development of assays for small molecules such as drug compounds and their metabolites.
To date, these immunoassays have been widely utilized as cost-effective initial tests to efficiently screen out the negative specimens from further analysis in the two-stage drugsof- abuse testing DAT programs. Proper utilization of DAT technologies requires familiarity with the characteristics of the analytical methodologies employed. Each of the abused drugs has specific Tsai requirements and challenges for immunoassay performance. Among the more prominent challenges for a DAT immunoassay is the ability to react with a desired panel of structurally related compounds with ideal levels of affinity while excluding the reaction with other similarly related structures.
In certain cases, the desirable cross-reactivity characteristics may vary depending on the market segments, regulatory implications, and the goals of the DAT programs. Additionally, each of the biological sample matrices has unique requirements and challenges for developing a suitable DAT immunoassay.
Good knowledge of the chemistry, metabolism, and cross-reactivity of the relevant substances is important for the apposite interpretation of the drug screening assays. These issues are of particular interest when evaluating immunoassays for detecting cannabis abuse due to the complexity of cannabinoid chemistry and metabolism.
The main objective of this chapter is to provide an overview of the design strategy, development, and applications of commonly used DAT immunoassays for cannabinoid analysis. The factors that impact the performance and result interpretations of these immunoassays in cannabinoid screening are discussed. Examples of comparative evaluations of cannabinoid immunoassays will also be reviewed.
It has long been recognized that Cannabis-derived substances are the most frequently abused drugs worldwide 1—3. Likewise, cannabinoids continue to be the most widely investigated and extensively published illicit drugs. The reaction principles of these immunoassays have been described in a number of publications and commercial product information documents.
Therefore, this section will provide only a brief overview of the commonly used drugs-of-abuse screening techniques. The majority of DAT immunoassays are based on the competition of drug molecules in the specimen and drug derivatives in the assay reagent for binding to a prespecified antibody reagent. The discriminatory power of the antibody-binding site gives the assay specificity, even though the cross-reactivity profile can be influenced by factors beyond the binding interaction alone.
The immunoassay indicator for monitoring the binding interactions can be labeled drug-derivative, antibody, or an independently labeled molecule that can specifically bind to the antigen or antibody. The labels convey a measurable property to meet the performance requirements of the specific immunoassay. Thus, heterogeneous competitive immunoassays involve sequential incubation and separation or washing steps but can generally achieve lower detection limits and wider dynamic ranges.
Immunoassays to Detect Cannabis Abuse In contrast, the antibody-antigen reactions in the homogeneous immunoassay systems can modulate the physical properties or activities of the labels in solution or in a homogeneous suspension of particles. Such features allow the direct detection of the reaction outcome in the original reaction mixture. Therefore, the homogeneous immunoassays can be more readily adapted to screening large amounts of samples using automatic analyzers.
During the design, development, and validation of an immunoassay, the labeled reagent, the specific binding partner, and the reaction modulators are prepared in specified and stabilized reagent formulations. In an actual testing, sample and reagents are processed according to the parameters optimized for the application of the immunoassay on the specific analyzer system. Homogeneous Competitive Immunoassays In recent years, routine laboratory screening of drugs of abuse in urine has mainly been carried out by homogeneous competitive immunoassays.
The major assay labels and the technologies are implied in the respective immunoassay nomenclature. The assay principle of EMIT is based on the modulation of enzyme activities by the binding of specific antibodies to the enzyme-labeled drug derivatives 4—6. In the absence of drugs in the sample, the antibodies bind to the enzyme-labeled drugs and inhibit the enzymatic activity. Free drugs in the specimen compete for antibody binding, so fewer antibodies are available for binding to the drug—enzyme conjugates and enzymatic activity is less inhibited.
Therefore, the change of absorbance can be plotted vs the corresponding calibrator concentration to construct a calibration curve for running a semi-quantitative assay. The assay can also be run qualitatively by comparing the sample rate to the calibrated cutoff rate. The measurement of FPIA relies on detecting the degree of polarization of the emitted fluorescent light when the fluorophore label is excited with plane-polarized light 7,8. A polarization filter rotational and an emission filter stationary enables the photomultiplier tube to read emitted parallel and perpendicular polarized light.
The degree of polarization is dependent on the rate of rotation of the drug—fluorophore conjugate tracer in solution. Small molecules such as tracers can rotate rapidly before light emission occurs, resulting in depolarization of the emitted light.
When bound to the antibody, the tracer rotates more slowly and the level of fluorescence polarization is higher. An optimized amount of the tracer competes with free drugs in the sample for binding to a limited amount of antibodies. Hence the drug concentration is inversely related to the degree Tsai of polarization.
The interactions of the drugs in the specimen, the tracers, and the antibodies under the same condition controlled by the analyzer yield mP units that can be correlated with the drug level in the specimen by making a comparison with the calibration curve. The principle of microparticle agglutination—inhibition tests has been applied to various drug screening assay formats 11— One KIMS DAT format is based on the competition of microparticle-labeled drug derivatives and the free drugs in the specimen for binding to a limited amount of free antibodies in solution 14, The drug conjugates are labeled with microparticles through covalent coupling.
These drug conjugates react with free antibodies and form particle aggregates that scatter transmitted light. The binding of the conjugates to the antibodies promotes the aggregation and leads to subsequent particle lattice formation. In both cases, the aggregation reaction in solution results in a kinetic increase in absorbance values.
Free drugs in the sample compete for antibody binding and inhibit the particle aggregation. The absorbance difference between a defined initial reading and final reading decreases with increasing drug concentration, and the signal generated can be monitored spectrophotometrically. The assay can be run qualitatively in comparison with the cutoff calibrator. The measurement of CEDIA is based on the antibody modulation of the complementation of two inactive polypeptide fragments to associate in solution to form an active enzyme.
The binding of antibodies to the drug—ED conjugates can inhibit the spontaneous assembly of active enzymes 17, The antibody binding to drug—ED conjugates in the analyzer reaction cuvet prevents the formation of active enzymes in the cuvet. Conversely, free drugs in the specimen compete for antibody binding and allow the drug—ED conjugates to reassociate with the EA fragments. Therefore, the drug concentration is proportional to the amount of active enzyme formed.
CEDIA assays can be run either qualitatively or semiquantitatively based on an appropriate calibration curve. Again, the assay labels and principles of these technologies are implied in their respective immunoassay nomenclature.
The most commonly used radiolabel is I. Several methods, such as the double-antibody approach and the coated-tube technique, were developed to facilitate the effective separation of free, radiolabeled drug derivatives from the bound complex. The double-antibody approach employs a second antibody to bind the primary antibody and precipitate the complex formed by primary antibodies and I-drug derivatives. The coat-a-count technique utilizes precoated primary antibodies in the reaction tube to allow the removal of the free radiolabeled drug derivatives in the supernatant.
The radioactivity from the bound I-labeled drugs in the precipitated complex, or the bound solid phase, is inversely proportional to the amount of drug in the sample. Thus, the drug concentration in the sample can be determined by mathematically comparing average counts per minute CPM obtained from the sample with the CPM obtained from the positive reference standard. Currently, there are approximately a dozen companies that offer an array of ELISA kits for an extended menu of drug analysis.
Commercial ELISA kits can be applied to test forensic matrices such as urine, blood, serum, oral fluid, sweat, meconium, bile, vitreous humor, and tissue extracts 24— In recent years, the highest volume of laboratory-based oral fluid DAT has been performed with qualitative microplate enzyme immunoassays One commonly used enzyme is horseradish peroxidase, which catalyzes the reduction of peroxide and the oxidation of the substrate tetramethylbenzidine.
The reaction is stopped by diluted acid, and the resulting color can be measured by absorbance at nm. A few ELISA tests offer the option to qualitatively determine the absence or presence of drugs by visually comparing the sample well reaction color to that of the cutoff calibrator and appropriate negative and positive controls.
The drug concentration is inversely proportional to the amount of signal produced. Immunoassays with chemiluminescence detection techniques have the advantages of lower detection limits, and the signals can be further amplified if coupled with an enzyme label The chemiluminescent substrate 1,2-dioxetane is destabilized by the enzyme alkaline phosphatase , and the unstable dioxetane intermediate will emit light upon decay back to the ground state.
Although this is a heterogeneous immunoassay in principle, the analyzer for Immulite assay utilizes a test unit that contains polystyrene beads to capture antibody and hence separate the reaction components within the unit. The tube is the reaction vessel for incubations, washes, and signal development. The photon count is mathematically converted to analyte concentration by the external computer. Pioneers of noninstrumented DAT on-site testing have been available since the early s, yet the markets for single-use DAT devices only became mature in the s 12,13,34— In recent years, there has been an increase in the numbers, and especially in the distributors, of on-site drug testing products.
The more extensive list of the commercial POC drug testing POCT products can be found in reports that include the initial evaluation or inventory of the contemporary on-site testing products in their study protocols 35— In general, there are three major categories of POCT products.
One type consists of the microparticle agglutination—inhibition based assays with ready-to-dispense liquid reagents 13, The most widely commercialized and commonly employed immunoassay for on-site DAT is the membrane-based, dry chemistry, one-step lateral-flow immunochromatography 37,39— The lateral flow test strip configurations include the colloidal gold-based test strip configuration 40,41,46 and latex-enhanced immunochromatography 39, In addition, a few nonconventional immunoassay technologies have been explored to utilize small instruments with quantitative ability for on-site drug testing or monitoring 48— The advantages generally cited for using POCT products include the speed in obtaining a qualitative determination and the ease of use.
Many of the POCT devices are self-contained, panel-testing devices that can be stored at room temperature. The ready-to-use devices depend on precalibration during manufacturing. Although the devices generally have less clear differentiation in near-cutoff result reading, these assays in routine use have been shown to provide comparable performance with conventional immunoassays in most drug-screening settings that demand a rapid turnaround time.
Cannabinoid Test System Cannabis is by far the most widely cultivated, trafficked, and abused illicit drug in the world 1—3. Likewise, cannabinoid assays are among the most frequently performed tests in society drug testing, behavior toxicology, and criminal justice testing. Immunoassays to Detect Cannabis Abuse Cannabinoid is a term originally used to denote the unique C21 compounds found in the plant Cannabis sativa L.
Recent progress in cannabinoid research has been extended to various ligands of the cannabinoid receptors and related compounds, including the transformation products of cannabinoids, synthetic cannabinoid analogs, and the endocannabinoids, namely, the endogenous ligands of the cannabinoid receptors 55— As reflected by the profuse publications in cannabinoid chemistry, tremendous efforts have been invested in the isolation of the chemical constituents and the investigation of the structure—activity relationships of the cannabinoids.
The Cannabis plant contains more than chemical compounds belonging to 18 different classes, including more than 60 phytocannabinoids that contain a typical C21 structure with pyran and phenolic rings 53— Immunoassays for detecting cannabis abuse in urine have been designed to detect THC metabolites and are generally referred to as the cannabinoid assay or THC assay.
Measurements obtained by this device are used in the diagnosis and treatment of cannabinoid use or abuse and in monitoring levels of cannabinoids during clinical investigational use. Immunoassays developed to detect THC metabolites usually have certain degrees of cross-reactivity with CBN but have minimal or no detectable level of cross-reactivity with the ring-opened compounds such as CBD, CBC, and cannabigerol. In analyzing 35, cannabis preparations confiscated in the United States between and 59 , ElSohly et al.
The average THC content of these cannabis preparations all showed significant increase over the years. The Tsai pharmacokinetics, metabolism, and excretion profiles of cannabinoids have been comprehensively studied and reported 20,21,23,54—58,61— THC is known to be extensively metabolized to a large number of compounds, even though most of the compounds are inactive 73— As shown in Fig.
Chemical structure of naturally occurring cannabinoids. Oxidation also occurs at the pentyl side chains. Smaller quantities of other metabolites are produced by minor metabolic pathways. It has been well established that the oxidative metabolism of aliphatic, benzyl, phenylethyl, and allylic alcohols to the corresponding carbonyl compounds is catalyzed by numerous cytochrome P CYP enzymes with overlapping substrate specificity 74— Pharmacogenetic studies have demonstrated the significant interindividual variations in CYP-catalyzed metabolism.
Metabolite composition varies with specimen source and experimental conditions. The presence of various amounts of metabolites in a given biological matrix and their relative binding affinity to the given antibodies may both contribute to different degrees of cumulative total binding activities for different immunoassays.
Although immunoassays developed for urinalysis can be adapted for alternative specimen testing, the cross-reactivity characteristics selected for urine drug screening may not be optimal for other biological matrices. The ratio of glucuronidated vs free THC-COOH in the sample at the time of immunoassay analysis may influence the comparative immunoassay evaluation. In studying the profiles of THC metabolites in urine, Alburges et al. In contrast, immunoassays are calibrated for THCCOOH detection, and the antibodies generally have variable degrees of cross-reactivity towards the glucuronidated metabolites.
By and large, the immunoassay result is based on the sum of various levels of antibody immunoreactivities in the sample matrix tested. The overall reactivity as expressed in apparent THC-COOH concentration or calibrator-equivalent unit can be affected by various factors.
Among the pivotal factors is the design of the chemical structures for both the drug derivatives for reagent conjugation and the immunogens used for antibody generation. Immunogen Strategies for Antibody Generation The overall analytical sensitivity and specificity of an immunoassay is, to a significant extent, related to the characteristics of the antibody used in the assay.
Because drugs such as cannabinoids are small molecular weight haptens, a carrier protein is needed to produce an effective Immunogen.
The site of linkage on the drug molecule to the protein carrier can determine the reactivity of the resulting antibodies. The specificity of an antibody is usually directed toward those structures on the hapten that are distal to the linkage group. Thus, the linkage site allows haptens to be coupled to the carrier in such a way that characteristic functional groups are exposed for antibody generation 20,21,87— Figure 3 shows the published linkage sites for coupling cannabinoid haptens to a carrier protein.
Various immunogen design structures were described in the National Institute on Drug Abuse Research Monographs 7 and 42 20, Taken together, the antibody generation approaches can be summarized as follows: The crossreactivities for the 8-, 9-, and substituted metabolites is lower because of the high recognition of the antibodies for this part of the molecule.
Likewise, the cross-reactivities with the glucuronidated compounds are lower because the ether bond forms between Tsai glucuronic acid and the hydroxyl moiety at C for OH-THC, and the ester bond forms between the glucuronide and the carboxyl moiety at C for THC-COOH. On the other hand, antibodies generated by immunogens with the C-9 position linkage are less selective for the cyclohexyl ring.
Nevertheless, these antibodies typically show better binding to the 8-, 9-, and substituted metabolites, as well as improved binding to their corresponding glucuronides. The antibodies also exhibit some selectivity for the cannabinoid nucleus in this region.
These types of antibodies can be selected for high cross-reactivities for some, but not all, of the 8-, 9-, and hydroxylated metabolites. To increase the spectrum and degree of cross-reactivities for THC metabolites, a noncannabinoid immunogen was designed not to hold the antigenic determinants of the cyclohexyl ring, and hence the resulting antibodies will be indifferent to the cyclohexyl portion of the cannabinoid nucleus. Such a bicyclic immunogen contained only the structure of the benzpyran core.
By eliminating the portion of the molecule that undergoes extensive metabolism from the immunogen and by preserving the core structure, antibodies with higher cross-reactive values with positive clinical samples can be generated. The resulting antibodies from the benzpyran core immunogens all showed broader cross-reactivities towards the 8-, 9-, and hydroxylated metabolites.
Immunogen strategies for the generation of anticannabinoid antibodies: Immunoassays to Detect Cannabis Abuse The broad-spectrum antibodies can be utilized beyond the development of immunoassays. A similar approach was also used for meconium analysis and confirmed that OH-THC 80 is indeed an important metabolite in meconium.
The evolution of assay specificity can also be observed from the review of three decades of publications regarding cannabinoid immunoassays. In the earlier stages of drug immunoassay development, immunogens were used to produce polyclonal antibodies from selected animals.
Naturally, polyclonal antibodies have broader crossreactivities that are collectively contributed by a range of antibody affinity, avidity, and binding characteristics.
The overall cross-reactivity manifestation can vary a bit from animal to animal and may change slightly over different time periods. Thus, it is not unusual for large pools of polyclonal antibodies to be validated and sequestered. Most current DAT immunoassays use monoclonal antibodies that are much more selective and specific and possess consistent quality. Thus, high antibody specificity may have the disadvantage of lower detection rate for clinical samples that contain THC-COOH near the screen cutoff concentration.
Broad-spectrum monoclonal antibodies can possess the advantages of both monoclonal antibody consistency and the broader cross-reactivity profile. Regulations and Guidelines Globally, various guidelines for substance abuse management have been developed by government agencies, forensic societies, and clinical organizations.
Some of the guidelines include more detailed technical and procedural recommendations for specimen collection and processing, initial drug screening, confirmation analysis, quality control and assurance, and documentation and result-reporting requirements. In case a retest is required for a specimen or for the testing of Bottle B of a split specimen, the federal guidelines state that the retest quantification is not subject to a cutoff requirement. The proposed revisions for the next version of the Mandatory Guidelines 91,92 will include regulations on specimen validity testing, POCT, and alternative specimen testing.
However, the new guidelines draft does not change the cutoff requirements for cannabinoid testing. The provisions of the rules that affect US corporations may be imposed on their global employees. In contrast, countries in the European Union, Asia, and Australia differ in their concerns and strategies in relation to substance abuse problems.
Surveys of DAT in European Union laboratories in the late s indicated that a high percentage of laboratories did not use or report cutoff 93— A few work groups in Europe have proposed consensus or country-specific guidelines and cutoffs, including drugtesting application-specific cutoffs, for DAT see, e. For urine drug testing, the maximum cutoff for screening test and the confirmation cutoff recommended by the European Workplace Drug Testing Society for cannabis metabolites are the same as those mandated by the current SAMHSA guidelines.
Immunoassays to Detect Cannabis Abuse 3. Comparative Evaluation of Cannabinoid Immunoassays 3. General Evaluations Immunoassays for commercial applications have to be developed and manufactured in compliance with a number of regulations and quality-management requirements. Currently, all projects for immunoassay research, development, and commercialization are required to follow the FDA Design Controls and Quality System Regulations.
The overall assay performance characteristics have to meet an array of predefined specifications with robust assurances at each of the design control milestone reviews in order to receive approval for proceeding to the next milestone.
Additionally, many companies require external clinical trials during product development to simulate the performance in the field as well as to anticipate any potential findings or cross-reactivity issues not observed during the in-house development. To date, the majority of published evaluations of different immunoassay products have involved authentic clinical samples from either controlled drug-administration study or specimens collected for routine laboratory drug testing see, e.
Cutoff Concentrations and Immunoassay Evaluations Because a cutoff is the concentration of drug below which all specimens are considered to be negative, the cutoff decision has a direct impact on the detection time window and the positive rate. The most commonly used method for immunoassay performance comparisons is to evaluate the so-called true-positive TP , true-negative TN , false-positive FP , and false-negative FN of the assay.
Traditionally, the cutoff decision can be made by considering the assay limit of detection or a predefined, higher concentration. In a near-cutoff zone as concentrations close to the cutoff value, some results may be positive or negative for different analytical methodologies or for repeated testings using the same method. One of the earlier concerns in setting the immunoassay cutoff for cannabinoids was the risk of falsely identifying urine samples as positive for individuals exposed to passive marijuana smoke.
Several studies have since demonstrated that higher positive rates for marijuana detection were achieved by lowering the initial testing cutoff in urine — The use of the precisionbased cutoff for clinical drug testing increased both the number of screen-positive specimens and the detection of specimens that yielded positive results on confirmatory testing.
However, the confirmatory rates for subcutoff-positive specimens were lower than for specimens screened positive at cutoff. Similarly, Hattab et al. But in the U. But the precedent was set, and Monsanto took advantage of it. Since the s, Monsanto has become the world leader in genetic modification of seeds and has won biotechnology patents, more than any other company, according to U.
Department of Agriculture data. This means that farmers must buy new seed every year. Those increased sales, coupled with ballooning sales of its Roundup weed killer, have been a bonanza for Monsanto. This radical departure from age-old practice has created turmoil in farm country.
Others do, but ignore the stipulation rather than throw away a perfectly usable product. The seeds look identical; only a laboratory analysis can show the difference. Most Americans know Monsanto because of what it sells to put on our lawns— the ubiquitous weed killer Roundup. What they may not know is that the company now profoundly influences—and one day may virtually control—what we put on our tables.
For most of its history Monsanto was a chemical giant, producing some of the most toxic substances ever created, residues from which have left us with some of the most polluted sites on earth.
Monsanto brought false accusations against Gary Rinehart—shown here at his rural Missouri store. There has been no apology. Photographs by Kurt Markus. So far, the company has produced G. Many more products have been developed or are in the pipeline, including seeds for sugar beets and alfalfa.
Even as the company is pushing its G. Louis—based corporation into the largest seed company in the world. In Iraq, the groundwork has been laid to protect the patents of Monsanto and other G. As recently as , no genetically modified crops were grown in the U. In , the total was million acres planted. Worldwide, the figure was million acres. Many farmers believe that G. Another reason for their attraction is convenience.
By using Roundup Ready soybean seeds, a farmer can spend less time tending to his fields. With Monsanto seeds, a farmer plants his crop, then treats it later with Roundup to kill weeds.
That takes the place of labor-intensive weed control and plowing. Monsanto portrays its move into G. Like it or not, farmers say, they have fewer and fewer choices in buying seeds. And controlling the seeds is not some abstraction. During the growing season, Investigator Jeffery Moore, through surveillance of Mr. Moore observed the Defendant take the brown bag soybeans to a field, which was subsequently loaded into a grain drill and planted.
Moore located two empty bags in the ditch in the public road right-of-way beside one of the fields planted by Rinehart, which contained some soybeans. Moore collected a small amount of soybeans left in the bags which Defendant had tossed into the public right-of way. Faced with a federal lawsuit, Rinehart had to hire a lawyer.
Rinehart later learned that the company had been secretly investigating farmers in his area. Rinehart never heard from Monsanto again: I felt like I was in another country. Ever since commercial introduction of its G. Lawyers who have represented farmers sued by Monsanto say that intimidating actions like these are commonplace.
Pilot Grove, Missouri, population , sits in rolling farmland miles west of St. The town has a grocery store, a bank, a bar, a nursing home, a funeral parlor, and a few other small businesses. The little traffic it has comes from trucks on their way to and from the grain elevator on the edge of town. The elevator is owned by a local co-op, the Pilot Grove Cooperative Elevator, which buys soybeans and corn from farmers in the fall, then ships out the grain over the winter.
The co-op has seven full-time employees and four computers. In the fall of , Monsanto trained its legal guns on Pilot Grove; ever since, its farmers have been drawn into a costly, disruptive legal battle against an opponent with limitless resources. Neither Pilot Grove nor Monsanto will discuss the case, but it is possible to piece together much of the story from documents filed as part of the litigation.
Monsanto began investigating soybean farmers in and around Pilot Grove several years ago. There is no indication as to what sparked the probe, but Monsanto periodically investigates farmers in soybean-growing regions such as this one in central Missouri. The company has a staff devoted to enforcing patents and litigating against farmers.
Once Pilot Grove had been targeted, Monsanto sent private investigators into the area. At least 17 such surveillance videos were made, according to court records. The investigative work was outsourced to a St. It was a McDowell investigator who erroneously fingered Gary Rinehart. In Pilot Grove, at least 11 McDowell investigators have worked the case, and Monsanto makes no bones about the extent of this effort: McDowell, like Monsanto, will not comment on the case.
The co-op provided more than pages of documents pertaining to dozens of farmers. Monsanto sued two farmers and negotiated settlements with more than 25 others it accused of seed piracy. Although the co-op had provided voluminous records, Monsanto then sued it in federal court for patent infringement.
In effect, Monsanto wanted the co-op to police its own customers. In the majority of cases where Monsanto sues, or threatens to sue, farmers settle before going to trial. The cost and stress of litigating against a global corporation are just too great.
The more the co-op has resisted, the more legal firepower Monsanto has aimed at it. Monsanto next petitioned to make potential damages punitive—tripling the amount that Pilot Grove might have to pay if found guilty.
After a judge denied that request, Monsanto expanded the scope of the pre-trial investigation by seeking to quadruple the number of depositions. Monsanto gave them two weeks to comply. Whether Pilot Grove can continue to wage its legal battle remains to be seen.
Whatever the outcome, the case shows why Monsanto is so detested in farm country, even by those who buy its products. The future of the company may lie in seeds, but the seeds of the company lie in chemicals. Monsanto was founded in by John Francis Queeny, a tough, cigar-smoking Irishman with a sixth-grade education.
A buyer for a wholesale drug company, Queeny had an idea. So he went into business for himself on the side. Queeny was convinced there was money to be made manufacturing a substance called saccharin, an artificial sweetener then imported from Germany.
With borrowed equipment and secondhand machines, he began producing saccharin for the U. The young company faced other challenges. Questions arose about the safety of saccharin, and the U. Department of Agriculture even tried to ban it. His persistence and the loyalty of one steady customer kept the company afloat.
That steady customer was a new company in Georgia named Coca-Cola. Monsanto added more and more products—vanillin, caffeine, and drugs used as sedatives and laxatives. In , Monsanto began making aspirin, and soon became the largest maker worldwide. During World War I, cut off from imported European chemicals, Monsanto was forced to manufacture its own, and its position as a leading force in the chemical industry was assured. After Queeny was diagnosed with cancer, in the late s, his only son, Edgar, became president.
Where the father had been a classic entrepreneur, Edgar Monsanto Queeny was an empire builder with a grand vision. Under Edgar Queeny and his successors, Monsanto extended its reach into a phenomenal number of products: Its safety glass protects the U.
Its synthetic fibers are the basis of Astroturf. During the s, the company shifted more and more resources into biotechnology. In it created a molecular-biology group for research in plant genetics. The next year, Monsanto scientists hit gold: Louis, developed one genetically modified product after another—cotton, soybeans, corn, canola.
From the start, G. Monsanto has sought to portray G. In its list of corporate milestones, all but a handful are from the recent era. One of the benefits of doing this, as the company does not point out, was to channel the bulk of the growing backlog of chemical lawsuits and liabilities onto Solutia, keeping the Monsanto brand pure.
For many years Monsanto produced two of the most toxic substances ever known— polychlorinated biphenyls, better known as PCBs, and dioxin. Monsanto no longer produces either, but the places where it did are still struggling with the aftermath, and probably always will be. Twelve miles downriver from Charleston, West Virginia, is the town of Nitro, where Monsanto operated a chemical plant from to A by-product of the process was the creation of a chemical that would later be known as dioxin.
The name dioxin refers to a group of highly toxic chemicals that have been linked to heart disease, liver disease, human reproductive disorders, and developmental problems. Even in small amounts, dioxin persists in the environment and accumulates in the body. In the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a branch of the World Health Organization, classified the most powerful form of dioxin as a substance that causes cancer in humans.
In the U. The noise from the release was a scream so loud that it drowned out the emergency steam whistle for five minutes. A plume of vapor and white smoke drifted across the plant and out over town.
Within days, workers experienced skin eruptions. Many were soon diagnosed with chloracne, a condition similar to common acne but more severe, longer lasting, and potentially disfiguring. Others felt intense pains in their legs, chest, and trunk. Court records indicate that plant workers became ill. In the meantime, the Nitro plant continued to produce herbicides, rubber products, and other chemicals.
In the s, the factory manufactured Agent Orange, the powerful herbicide which the U. In several former Nitro employees filed lawsuits in federal court, charging that Monsanto had knowingly exposed them to chemicals that caused long-term health problems, including cancer and heart disease.
They alleged that Monsanto knew that many chemicals used at Nitro were potentially harmful, but had kept that information from them. Monsanto stopped producing dioxin in Nitro in , but the toxic chemical can still be found well beyond the Nitro plant site. Repeated studies have found elevated levels of dioxin in nearby rivers, streams, and fish. Residents have sued to seek damages from Monsanto and Solutia.
Earlier this year, a West Virginia judge merged those lawsuits into a class-action suit. Five hundred miles to the south, the people of Anniston, Alabama, know all about what the people of Nitro are going through. One of the wonder chemicals of the 20th century, PCBs were exceptionally versatile and fire-resistant, and became central to many American industries as lubricants, hydraulic fluids, and sealants.
But PCBs are toxic. A member of a family of chemicals that mimic hormones, PCBs have been linked to damage in the liver and in the neurological, immune, endocrine, and reproductive systems. The Environmental Protection Agency E. Today, 37 years after PCB production ceased in Anniston, and after tons of contaminated soil have been removed to try to reclaim the site, the area around the old Monsanto plant remains one of the most polluted spots in the U.
People in Anniston find themselves in this fix today largely because of the way Monsanto disposed of PCB waste for decades. Excess PCBs were dumped in a nearby open-pit landfill or allowed to flow off the property with storm water.
Some waste was poured directly into Snow Creek, which runs alongside the plant and empties into a larger stream, Choccolocco Creek. So for decades the people of Anniston breathed air, planted gardens, drank from wells, fished in rivers, and swam in creeks contaminated with PCBs—without knowing anything about the danger. Studies by health authorities consistently found elevated levels of PCBs in houses, yards, streams, fields, fish, and other wildlife—and in people.
In , Monsanto and Solutia entered into a consent decree with the E. Scores of houses and small businesses were to be razed, tons of contaminated soil dug up and carted off, and streambeds scooped of toxic residue. The cleanup is under way, and it will take years, but some doubt it will ever be completed—the job is massive.
Once PCB is absorbed into human tissue, there it forever remains. In recent years, residents near the village of Groesfaen, in southern Wales, have noticed vile odors emanating from an old quarry outside the village.
As it turns out, Monsanto had dumped thousands of tons of waste from its nearby PCB plant into the quarry. British authorities are struggling to decide what to do with what they have now identified as among the most contaminated places in Britain. What had Monsanto known—or what should it have known—about the potential dangers of the chemicals it was manufacturing?
The evidence that Monsanto refused to face questions about their toxicity is quite clear. In the company tried to sell the navy a hydraulic fluid for its submarines called Pydraul , which contained PCBs. Monsanto supplied the navy with test results for the product. But the navy decided to run its own tests. Ten years later, a biologist conducting studies for Monsanto in streams near the Anniston plant got quick results when he submerged his test fish. Jeff Kleinpeter, of Baton Rouge, was accused by Monsanto of making misleading claims just for telling customers his cows are free of artificial bovine growth hormone.
When the Food and Drug Administration F. Hodges reviewed steps under way to limit disclosure of the information. Louis summarized the story that subsequently appeared in the newspaper: In truth, there was enormous cause for public alarm.
Jeff Kleinpeter takes very good care of his dairy cows. In the winter he turns on heaters to warm their barns. He says visitors marvel at what he does: Monsanto would like to change the way Jeff Kleinpeter and his family do business. No one knows what effect, if any, the hormone has on milk or the people who drink it.
Studies have not detected any difference in the quality of milk produced by cows that receive rBGH, or rBST, a term by which it is also known. For Kleinpeter, it was simply a matter of giving consumers more information about their product. But giving consumers that information has stirred the ire of Monsanto. After years of scientific debate and public controversy, the F. That decision allowed the company to market the artificial hormone. The effect of the hormone is to increase milk production, not exactly something the nation needed then—or needs now.
Monsanto began selling the supplement in under the name Posilac. Monsanto acknowledges that the possible side effects of rBST for cows include lameness, disorders of the uterus, increased body temperature, digestive problems, and birthing difficulties. Canada and the European Union have never approved the commercial sale of the artificial hormone. Today, nearly 15 years after the F.
Not only have there been no studies, he adds, but the data that does exist all comes from Monsanto. Taylor was a staff attorney and executive assistant to the F. Friedman, formerly the F. Fisher was an assistant administrator at the E. She became a vice president of Monsanto, from to , only to return to the E. He wrote the Supreme Court opinion in a crucial G. Donald Rumsfeld never served on the board or held any office at Monsanto, but Monsanto must occupy a soft spot in the heart of the former defense secretary.
Rumsfeld was chairman and C. From the beginning some consumers have consistently been hesitant to drink milk from cows treated with artificial hormones. This is one reason Monsanto has waged so many battles with dairies and regulators over the wording of labels on milk cartons.
It has sued at least two dairies and one co-op over labeling. Critics of the artificial hormone have pushed for mandatory labeling on all milk products, but the F.
Its attempt to force the F. Blocked at the federal level, Monsanto is pushing for action by the states. The ban was to take effect February 1, On this issue, the tide may be shifting against Monsanto. Supermarket chains such as Kroger, Publix, and Safeway are embracing them.
Some other companies have turned away from rBGH products, including Starbucks, which has banned all milk products from cows treated with rBGH. Jeff Kleinpeter knows about them, too. He got a call one day from the man who prints the labels for his milk cartons, asking if he had seen the attack on Kleinpeter Dairy that had been posted on the Internet. There was no address or phone number on the Web site, only a list of groups that apparently contribute to the site and whose issues range from disparaging organic farming to downplaying the impact of global warming.
Read the original article here. Supreme Court overturned a California law that mandated slaughterhouses humanely and immediately end the suffering of livestock that arrive at facilities too sick or injured to stand on their own feet. The unanimous vote was a victory for the National Meat Association, the group that challenged the law.
The shocking video from a slaughterhouse in Southern California showed cows that could not stand, being kicked, dragged with chains and hosed-down in an attempt to get them on their feet. It also showed animals being picked up with a forklift and placed into slaughter pens.
In fact the lawsuit was brought on behalf of California pig farmers. The federal law allows a downed pig to be slaughtered if a veterinarian or federal inspector determines it is free of disease.
The animal can then be forced onto its feet and taken to be killed. HSUS statistics show that 44, of the million hogs brought to slaughter each year are unable to walk.
California tried to protect its citizens and the animals at slaughterhouses from acute and extreme abuses, but its effort was cannibalized by the federal government.
About a hundred of GM maize critics have occupied a site on Monday morning, the U. Of man-modified varieties, such as Mon are prohibited. Now some activists have occupied a site of the U. In fact, the government is in Paris remains committed not to allow farming of genetically modified plants — but nothing happened since November.
Already in early January so angry farmers had occupied another French Monsanto site. The company had employed all their harvest workers illegally, they prevented from leaving the fields and their wages are not paid, it said. In addition, the workers would have fourteen hours a day corn harvest and buy their food at inflated prices in the corporate business need. The Authority announced that it will take for the Monsanto Company practices of its suppliers to account.
Monsanto has fought hard to prevent labeling laws. Meanwhile, prominent scientists such as Arpad Pusztai and Gilles-Eric Seralini have publicized alarming research revealing severe damage to animals monkeys, lab rats fed GMO foods including: Century-old seed stocks were destroyed.
Monsanto uses the courts aggressively. Schmeiser maintained that this was accidental. The court found that Mr. Schmeiser and his farming company damages were assessed only against the company as Mr. This finding was upheld at the appellate court level.
This type of biotech bullying is happening all over North America. The transition to using the latest pest-resistant seeds and the necessary herbicides has been difficult. Beguiled by the promise of future riches, he borrowed money in order to buy the GM seeds. My husband had become depressed. It argues that the suicides predate the introduction of the cotton in and has been fairly consistent since These include debt, the difficulty of farming semi-arid regions, poor agricultural income, absence of alternative income opportunities, the downturn in the urban economy forcing non-farmers into farming, and the absence of suitable counseling services.
Now massive aerial spraying of Roundup in Colombia is being used by the US and the Colombian government as a counter-insurgency tactic, contaminating food crops and poisoning villagers. According to Vietnamese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, 4. Government during the Vietnam War. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas , a former Monsanto lawyer, was the one who wrote the majority opinion on a key Monsanto case. In , Monsanto was accused of false and misleading advertising of glyphosate products, prompting a law suit by the New York State attorney general.
Monsanto also said that the Craven Labs investigation was started by the EPA after a pesticide industry task force discovered irregularities. South African farmers suffered millions of dollars in lost income when 82, hectares of genetically-manipulated corn maize failed to produce hardly any seeds. Better alternatives are available, and the report championed organic farming as the sustainable way forward for developing countries.
One of the best options is organic Permaculture. According to Keith Mudd of the U. Fred Stokes of OCM describes the implications for farmers: How can we let companies get away with this? Recent price hikes have taken place in the context of a global food crisis marked by rapid food price inflation, which has exacerbated extreme poverty and hunger, and increased social tensions.
Monsanto has been accused of both contributing to and benefiting from the food crisis, while simultaneously using it as a PR platform from which to promote GM crops as the solution to the crisis. In , the President of the General Assembly of the United Nations condemned corporate profiteering: In these countries, GM soybeans are approved without restrictions and are treated just like conventional soybeans. Producers and government officials in the US and Argentina do not see a reason to keep GM and conventionally bred cultivars separate — whether during harvest, shipment, storage or processing.
In , million tons of soybeans were produced worldwide. India and Paraguay are also noteworthy soybean producers. NEW allergies, cancer, sterility consumers losing their ability to get pregnant and have babies , miscarriages, seizures, and even death! A new crop with new uses for North America. Cannabaceae , although the term has been applied to dozens of species representing at least 22 genera, often prominent fiber crops.
The common names hemp and marijuana much less frequently spelled marihuana have been applied loosely to all three forms, although historically hemp has been used primarily for the fiber cultigen and its fiber preparations, and marijuana for the drug cultigen and its drug preparations.
Hemp was harvested by the Chinese years ago Schultes and Hofmann Hemp is one of the oldest sources of textile fiber, with extant remains of hempen cloth trailing back 6 millennia. Cultivation in Europe became widespread after ce. The hemp industry flourished in Kentucky, Missouri, and Illinois between and because of the strong demand for sailcloth and cordage Ehrensing The second world war led to a brief revival of hemp cultivation in the Midwest, as well as in Canada, because the war cut off supplies of fiber substantial renewed cultivation also occurred in Germany for the same reason.
Until the beginning of the 19th century, hemp was the leading cordage fiber. Nevertheless, the Marihuana Tax Act applied in essentially ended hemp production in the United States, although a small hemp fiber industry continued in Wisconsin until Until very recently the prohibition against drug forms of the plant prevented consideration of cultivation of fiber and oilseed cultivars in Canada.
However, in the last 10 years three key developments occurred: In March , new regulations under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act were provided to allow the commercial development of a hemp industry in Canada, and since then more than a thousand licenses have been issued. Hectares licensed for cultivation for — were respectively, 2,, 14,, 5,, and 1,, the decreasing trend due to a glut of seed produced in and pessimism over new potential regulations barring exports to the US.
Information on the commercial potential of hemp in Canada is in Blade , Marcus , and Pinfold Consulting In the US, a substantial trade in hemp products has developed, based on imports of hemp fiber, grain, and oil. The American agricultural community has observed this, and has had success at the state level in persuading legislators of the advisability of experimental hemp cultivation as a means of evaluating the wisdom of re-establishing American hemp production.
However, because of opposition by the federal government, to date there has only been a small experimental plot in Hawaii. Information on the commercial potential of hemp in the US is presented in the following.
This presentation stresses the products that hold the most promise for North America, which also include a considerable range of oilseed applications Table 2; Fig. Hemp fiber usage in the European Union in after Karus et al. Figure 2 presents the basic morphology of the species. All-female lines are productive for some purposes e. So prolific is pollen production that an isolation distance of about 5 km is usually recommended for generating pure-bred foundation seed.
While small, secretory, resin-producing glands occur on the epidermis of most of the above-ground parts of the plant, the glands are very dense and productive on the perigonal bracts, which are accordingly of central interest in marijuana varieties.
The root is a laterally branched taproot, generally 30—60 cm deep, up to 2. Extensive root systems are key to the ability of hemp crops to exploit deep supplies of nutrients and water. The stems are erect, furrowed, and usually branched, with a woody interior, and may be hollow in the internodes. Although the stem is often woody, the species is frequently referred to as a herb or forb.
Plants vary enormously in height depending on genetic constitution and environment Fig. This superb composite plate by artist Elmer Smith, often reproduced at a very small scale and without explanation in marijuana books, is the best scientific illustration of the hemp plant ever prepared.
Flowering branch of male plant. Flowering branch of female plant. Cluster of male flowers. Female flower, enclosed by perigonal bract. Mature fruit enclosed in perigonal bract. Seed achene , showing wide face.
Seed, showing narrow face. Top of sessile secretory gland. Long section of cystolith hair note calcium carbonate concretion at base. Moreover, density of cultivation is used to accentuate certain architectural features. Degree of branching and height are determined both by the density of the plants and their genetic background. Highly selected forms of the fiber cultigen possess features maximizing fiber production. Since the nodes tend to disrupt the length of the fiber bundles, thereby limiting quality, tall, relatively unbranched plants with long internodes have been selected.
Another strategy has been to select stems that are hollow at the internodes, with limited wood, since this maximizes production of fiber in relation to supporting woody tissues. Selecting monoecious strains overcomes the problem of differential maturation times and quality of male staminate and female pistillate plants males mature 1—3 weeks earlier.
Male plants in general are taller, albeit slimmer, less robust, and less productive. Except for the troublesome characteristic of dying after anthesis, male traits are favored for fiber production, in contrast to the situation for drug strains noted below.
In former, labor-intensive times, the male plants were harvested earlier than the females, to produce superior fiber. The limited branching of fiber cultivars is often compensated for by possession of large leaves with wide leaflets, which obviously increase the photosynthetic ability of the plants.
Since fiber plants have not generally been selected for narcotic purposes, the level of intoxicating constituents is usually limited. An absence of such fiber-strain traits as tallness, limited branching, long internodes, and very hollow stems, is characteristic of narcotic strains.
Drug forms have historically been grown in areas south of the north-temperate zone, often close to the equator, and are photoperiodically adapted to a long season. When grown in north-temperate climates maturation is much-delayed until late fall, or the plants succumb to cold weather before they are able to produce seeds.
Unlike fiber strains that have been selected to grow well at extremely high densities, drug strains tend to be less persistent when grown in high concentration de Meijer Drug strains can be very similar in appearance to fiber strains.
However, a characteristic type of narcotic plant was selected in southern Asia, particularly in India and neighboring countries. This is dioecious, short about a meter in height , highly branched, with large leaves i. The appearance is rather like a short, conical Christmas tree. Until recent times, the cultivation of hemp primarily as an oilseed was largely unknown, except in Russia.
Today, it is difficult to reconstruct the type of plant that was grown there as an oilseed, because such cultivation has essentially been abandoned. Oilseed hemp cultivars in the modern sense were not available until very recently, but some land races certainly were grown specifically for seeds in Russia. Dewey gave the following information: Very recently, cultivars have been bred specifically for oilseed production.
While oilseed land races in northern Russia would have been short, early-maturing plants in view of the short growing season, in more southern areas oilseed landraces likely had moderate height, and were spaced more widely to allow abundant branching and seed production to develop.
Until Canada replaced China in as a source of imported seeds for the US, most seeds used for various purposes in the US were sterilized and imported from China. Indeed, China remains the largest producer of hempseed.
We have grown Chinese hemp land races, and these were short, branched, adapted to a very long growing season i. Such forms are typically grown at lower densities than hemp grown only for fiber, as this promotes branching, although it should be understood that the genetic propensity for branching has been selected. Percentage or quality of oil in the seeds does not appear to have been important in the past, although selection for these traits is now being conducted.
Most significantly, modern selection is occurring with regard to mechanized harvesting, particularly the ability to grow in high density as single-headed stalks with very short branches bearing considerable seed. As detailed below, the development of hemp as a new legal crop in North America must be considered in relation to illicit cultivation, so it is important to appreciate the scope of the drug situation.
After World War II, marijuana became associated with the rise of a hedonistic, psychedelic ethos, first in the United States and eventually over much of the world, with the consequent development of a huge international illicit market that exceeds the value of the hemp market during its heyday.
In the Netherlands, the annual value of narcotic hemp cultivation ca. Marijuana has become the most widely disseminated illicit species in the world Schultes and Hofmann With the exception of alcohol, it is the most widely used recreational euphoric drug.
In addition, there are substantial social costs, such as adverse effects on users, particularly those who are convicted. Tragically this includes some legitimate farmers who, faced with financial ruin because of the unprofitability of crops being grown, converted to growing marijuana.
A rather thorough analysis of the scope of the illicit marijuana industry in Canada for is reported at http: At least tonnes t of marijuana were grown in Canada in , representing a harvest of 4.
Impressively, the species was grown in all 50 states including outdoor seizures in every state except Wyoming! It was estimated that 8. Marijuana was judged to be the largest revenue producing crop in Alabama, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Kentucky, Maine, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia, and one of the top five cash crops in 29 other states.
Cannabinoids are produced in specialized epidermal glands, which differ notably in distribution on different organs of the plant high concentrations occur on the upper surface of the young leaves and young twigs, on the tepals, stamens, and especially on the perigonal bract. Given this distribution, the glands would seem to be protective of young and reproductive above-ground tissues the roots lack glands.
Two classes of epidermal glands occur—stalked and sessile Fig. The resin is a sticky mixture of cannabinoids and a variety of terpenes. The characteristic odor of the plant is due to the abundant terpenes, which are not psychoactive.
The more important cannabinoids are shown in Fig. In the plant the cannabinoids exist predominantly in the form of carboxylic acids, which decarboxylate with time or when heated. Technically, the euphoric psychological effects of THC are best described by the word psychotomimetic. Cannabidiol CBD is the chief non-psychotomimetic cannabinoid. A THC concentration in marijuana of approximately 0. Some cannabinoid races have been described, notably containing cannabichromene particularly in high-THC forms and cannabigerol monomethyl ether in some Asian strains.
The biosynthetic pathways of the cannabinoids are not yet satisfactorily elucidated, although the scheme shown in Fig. Proposed biosynthetic pathways of the principal cannabinoids after Pate b. Indeed, the reason hemp cultivation was made illegal in North America was concern that the hemp crop was a drug menace.
The drug potential is, for practical purposes, measured by the presence of THC. Small and Cronquist split C. This classification has since been adopted in the European Community, Canada, and parts of Australia as a dividing line between cultivars that can be legally cultivated under license and forms that are considered to have too high a drug potential.
For a period, 0. It should be appreciated that there is considerable variation in THC content in different parts of the plant. THC content increases in the following order: It is well known in the illicit trade how to screen off the more potent fractions of the plant in order to increase THC levels in resultant drug products. Nevertheless, a level of 0. Below, the problem of permissible levels of THC in food products made from hempseed is discussed.
In theory, therefore, low-THC cultivars do not completely solve the problem of drug abuse potential. In practice, however, the illicit drug trade has access to easier methods of synthesizing THC or its analogues than by first extracting CBD from non-drug hemp strains.
THC content has proven to be more easily reduced in monoecious than in dioecious varieties. It should be possible to select THC-free strains, and there has been speculation that genetic engineering could be helpful in this regard.
As a strategic economic and political tactic, France has been attempting for several years to have the European Union EU adopt legislation forbidding the cultivation of industrial hemp cultivars with more than 0.
However, the Canadian government has found that some French material has proven to be excessively high in THC. There is certainly a need to utilize available germplasm sources in order to breed suitable cultivars for North America.
A list of the 24 approved cultivars for the season in Canada is at http: Indeed, most of these are unsuitable or only marginally suitable for Canada Small and Marcus , and only a very few Canadian cultivars to date have been created. In Canada, every acquisition of hemp grown at a particular place and time must be tested for THC content by an independent laboratory and, under the industrial hemp regulations, fields of hemp with more than 0.
Importation of experimental hemp lines i. The regulations require that one of the dozen independent laboratories licensed for the purpose conduct the analyses and report the results to Health Canada. Sample collection is also normally carried out by an independent authorized firm. The Canadian system of monitoring THC content has rigidly limited hemp cultivation to cultivars that consistently develop THC levels below 0.
Most germplasm stocks of hemp are in Europe, and the largest and most important collection is the Vavilov Institute gene bank in Leningrad. Figure 11 shows THC concentrations in the Vavilov collection, as well as in our own collection, largely of European germplasm.
A disturbingly high percentage of the collections have THC levels higher than 0. Frequency histograms of THC concentration in germplasm collections. Left, collection of E. Right, the collection of the Vavilov Institute, St. Soil characteristics, latitude and climatic stresses have been found to have significant effects on THC concentrations, and there are seasonal and even diurnal variations Small ; Pate b.
Practically, this has meant in Canadian experience that a few cultivars have been eliminated from further commercial cultivation because they sometimes exceed the 0. Hemp seeds contain virtually no THC, but THC contamination results from contact of the seeds with the resin secreted by the epidermal glands on the leaves and floral parts, and also by the failure to sift away all of the bracts which have the highest concentration of THC of any parts of the plant that cover the seeds.
This results in small levels of THC appearing in hempseed oil and foods made with the seeds. Although most of the western hemp-growing world uses 0. Currently, up to 10 ppm THC is permitted in seeds and oil products used for food purposes in Canada. In Germany, more stringent limits were set for food in The US Drug Enforcement Administration published new regulations on hemp in the Federal Register on October 9th that in effect 4 months later would ban the food use of hemp in the US because any amount of THC would be unacceptable in foods follow links at http: These proposals are currently being challenged by the hemp industry.
Limits have been set because of concerns about possible toxicity and interference with drug tests Grotenhermen et al. An extensive analysis of literature dealing with the toxicity of hemp is in Orr and Starodub ; see Geiwitz for an analysis. Because hemp food products are considered to have great economic potential, there is considerable pressure on the hemp industry in North America to reduce THC levels.
The Drug Enforcement Agency and the Office of National Drug Control Policy of the US raised concerns over tests conducted from to that showed that consumption of hempseed products available during that period led to interference with drug-testing programs for marijuana use. Leson found that this level was not exceeded by consuming hemp products, provided that THC levels are maintained below 5 ppm in hemp oil, and below 2 ppm in hulled seeds.
Nevertheless the presence of even minute trace amounts of THC in foods remains a tool that can be used by those wishing to prevent the hemp oilseed industry from developing.
Based on world production of fibers in , about In addition to cotton, flax is the only other significant plant fiber crop grown in temperate regions of the world kenaf has received some enthusiastic backing in the southern US in recent years, but is most cheaply produced in India, Bangladesh, and China. Hemp fiber can potentially replace other biological fibers in many applications, but also, as noted below, can sometimes compete with minerals such as glass fiber and steel.
As forests diminish, cultivation of annual plants as fiber sources is likely to increase. While crop residues like cereal straw will probably supply much of the need, specialty fiber plants such as hemp also have potential. The four conditions that will need to be met are after Bolton Of these criteria only point 3 is adequately met at this time for hemp in North America, but this is to be expected in a crop that has only begun to be cultivated after an absence of many years.
One of the reasons hemp fiber has been valued is because of its length. The primary bast fibers in the bark are 5—40 mm long, and are amalgamated in fiber bundles which can be 1—5 m long secondary bast fibers are about 2 mm long. The woody core fibers are short—about 0. The core fibers are generally considered too short for high grade paper applications a length of 3 mm is considered ideal , and too much lignin is present.
While the long bast fibers have been used to make paper almost for 2 millennia, the woody core fibers have rarely been so used. Nevertheless it has been suggested that the core fibers could be used for paper making, providing appropriate technology was developed de Groot et al. In any event, the core fibers, have found a variety of uses, as detailed below.
The long, lignin-poor bast fibers also have considerable potential to be used in many non-paper, non-textile applications, as noted below. Selection for fiber has resulted in strains that have much more bark fiber tissues and much less woody core than encountered in narcotic strains, oilseed strains, and wild plants Fig. By contrast, in fiber strains half of the stem tissues can be bark, and more than half of this can be the desirable long primary fibers de Meijer Cross sections of stems at internodes of a fiber plant left and of a narcotic plant right.
Fiber cultivars have stems that are more hollow at the internodes, i. Other desirable features of hemp fibers are strength and durability particularly resistance to decay , which made hemp useful in the past for rope, nets, sail-cloth, and oakum for caulking.
Several factors combined to decrease the popularity of hemp in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Increasing limitation of cheap labor for traditional production in Europe and the New World led to the creation of some mechanical inventions, but too late to counter growing interest in competitive crops.
Hemp rag had been much used for paper, but the 19th century introduction of the chemical woodpulping process considerably lowered demand for hemp. The demise of the sail diminished the market for canvas. Increasing use of the plant for drugs gave hemp a bad image. All this led to the discontinuation of hemp cultivation in the early and middle parts of the 20th century in much of the world where cheap labor was limited.
There has been renewed interest in England, Australia, and South Africa in cultivating fiber hemp. Italy has an outstanding reputation for high-quality hemp, but productivity has waned for the last several decades. In France, a market for high-quality paper, ironically largely cigarette paper, has developed such paper is completely free of the intoxicating resin. Modern plant breeding in Europe has produced several dozen hemp strains, although by comparison with other fiber crops there are relatively few described varieties of hemp.
Since World War II, breeding has been concerned most particularly with the development of monoecious varieties. Gehl reviewed fiber hemp development in Canada in the early 20th century, and concluded that the prospects for a traditional fiber industry were poor. However, as outlined below, there are now many non-traditional usages for hemp fiber which require consideration. Hemp long fiber is one of the strongest and most durable of natural fibers, with high tensile strength, wet strength, and other characteristics that make it technically suited for various industrial products Karus and Leson From to the EU provided the equivalent of about 50 million dollars to develop new flax and hemp harvesting and fiber processing technologies Karus et al.
Because of the similarities of flax and hemp, the technologies developed for one usually are adaptable to the other. In addition, various European nations and private firms contributed to the development of hemp technologies. Accordingly, Europe is far more advanced in hemp development with respect to all fiber-based applications than other parts of the world. The EU currently dedicates about 30, ha to hemp production. Harvesting and processing machinery for fiber hemp is highly advanced in Europe, and some has been imported into Canada.
However, there is insufficient fiber processing capacity to handle hemp produced in Canada. Hemp is a bast fiber crop, i. Water retting has been largely abandoned in countries where labor is expensive or environmental regulations exist.
Water retting, typically by soaking the stalks in ditches, can lead to a high level of pollution. Most hemp fiber used in textiles today is water retted in China and Hungary. Retting in tanks rather than in open bodies of water is a way of controlling the effluents while taking advantage of the high-quality fiber that is produced. Unlike flax, hemp long fiber requires water retting for preparation of high-quality spinnable fibers for production of fine textiles. Improved microorganisms or enzymes could augment or replace traditional water retting.
Steam explosion is another potential technology that has been experimentally applied to hemp Garcia-Jaldon et al. Even when one has suitably separated long fiber, specialized harvesting, processing, spinning and weaving equipment are required for preparing fine hemp textiles. The refinement of equipment and new technologies are viewed as offering the possibility of making fine textile production practical in western Europe and North America, but at present China controls this market, and probably will remain dominant for the foreseeable future.
There are practical, if cruder alternatives to separate the long fiber for high-quality textile production, but in fact such techniques are used mostly for non-textile applications. This approach is currently dominant in western Europe and Canada, and commences with field dew retting typically 2—3 weeks. A principal limitation is climatic—the local environment should be suitably but not excessively moist at the close of the harvest season.
Once stalks are retted, dried, and baled, they are processed to extract the fiber. A single, relatively expensive machine called a decorticator can do these two steps as one.
In North America the use of hemp for production of even crude textiles is marginal. Accordingly, the chief current fiber usages of North American, indeed of European hemp, are non-textile.
Although always sold at a premium price, hemp clothing has a natural appeal to a sector of the population. Hemp clothes are resistant to abrasion, but are typically abrasive. Weaving of hemp fibers into textiles and apparel is primarily done in China, Hungary, Romania, Russia, and the Ukraine.
Processing costs are higher for industrial hemp because the fibers vary from the standard specifications for fiber length and diameter established for the equipment used in most textile and apparel factories, necessitating the use of specialty machines. The North American hemp apparel industry today is based on fiber, yarn, and fabrics imported from Eastern Europe and China.
The extraction technology and spinning facilities, to say nothing of much lower labor costs, make it very difficult for the potential development of a hemp textile industry in North America. The fact that spinning facilities for natural fibers are so concentrated in China is making it increasingly difficult to competitively produce hemp fabrics elsewhere.
This of course lessens the value-added future of growing hemp for a potential textile industry in North America. It is possible, however, that new technologies could change this situation, and especially in the EU development is underway to establish a fledgling domestic hemp textile industry. In addition to textiles used in clothing, coarser woven cloth canvas is used for upholstery, bags, sacks, and tarpaulins.
There is very little effort in North America to produce such woven products, and non-woven material Fig. Hempline in Ontario, the first firm to grow hemp for commercial purposes in North America since the second word war starting with experimental cultivation in , is the exception, and is concerned with production of fiber for upholstery and carpeting.
Multi-purpose matting, fabricated from hemp. Courtesy of Kenex Ltd. Until the early 19th century, hemp, and flax were the chief paper-making materials. In historical times, hemp rag was processed into paper. Using hemp directly for paper was considered too expensive, and in any event the demand for paper was far more limited than today.
Wood-based paper came into use when mechanical and chemical pulping was developed in the mid s in Germany and England.
Hemp: A New Crop with New Uses for North America*
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