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The importance of the pharmaceutical cannabis supply chain

By May 1, 2022June 7th, 2022No Comments

The therapeutic value of cannabis lies in its active principles which, together with other natural substances, form the phytocomplex. The technology used for the extraction of these active ingredients becomes therefore fundamental for the therapeutic pharmaceutical purpose. The reason is that a high-quality extraction allows to extract the whole phytocomplex leaving its properties unchanged without any trace of chemical residues in the extract or removing them completely in the purification phase.

To maintain a pharmaceutical standard, it is necessary to start from a cannabis plant which is completely free of any kind of contamination. The cannabis plant, Indica or Sativa (or Hemp), is considered a sponge as it absorbs everything in the soil. Hemp is indeed one of the most effective plants as far as phytoremediation is concerned, that is the ability of some plants to purify soil, water and air from pollutants and heavy metals such as Lead, Chromium, Nickel, and others. These metals are then stored by the plant itself inside the leaves. This means that if you extract a plant that contains all these contaminants, they will be extracted along with the phytocomplex and end up in the oil.
There are certain certifications, most notably GACP and Bio, that should guarantee that the cannabis has been grown in a field free of heavy metals and that no chemical pesticides have been used. However, no matter how hard we try to maintain a low level of contaminants in outdoor (open field) cultivation, we can never be sure of their total absence.

The only effective cultivation method to obtain a real pharmaceutical standard is the indoor one, as it allows to guarantee a total absence of contaminants.

Another important advantage of indoor cultivation over outdoor cultivation, which is fundamental to obtain a pharmaceutical standard, is the standardization of the cultivation conditions of the plant. Nature itself is not standardized, in the same cannabis field we might find plants with different levels of cannabinoids, because climatic conditions can vary from one point to another in the field. By cultivating the cannabis plant in a controlled environment, where we can set and keep stable all the fundamental parameters for plant growth such as light, temperature, humidity, and nutrients, we will obtain a final product as standardized as possible.