Be a Cannabis Product Tester (Yes, Really): How it Works and How You Can Participate

By ebbu Staff

This might just be the best job title ever: Cannabis product tester.

Even better, it’s a real opportunity from Colorado-based cannabis technology lab ebbu, which has spent the last two years conducting clinical research involving panels of adults trying out new products from the company’s high-science development laboratory.

The process actually starts at the cellular level in ebbu’s cellular pharmacology lab, where human receptor activities are measured as they respond to various cannabinoid and terpene combinations. Based on which combinations the cells have the greatest response to, ebbu’s scientists create a small batch of cannabinoids and terpenes mixed into a formulation they believe will create a particular response in the human brain and / or body, whether it’s a profound sense of calm and relaxation or an uptick in excitement and verve.

But to test their hypotheses, ebbu’s team of scientists needs to get real-time reactions from something bigger than a cell. That’s where you, the human trial participant, come in. While human responses are complex and multifaceted, the scientists gain a better understanding of how the interactions they see on the microscopic level play out in real life via these tests.

While these cannabis studies are far from a multiphase, multiyear, multimillion-dollar, FDA-approved clinical trial, they do provide a rigorous and controlled way of measuring the effects of our proprietary formulations that goes beyond anecdotal evidence, something that can have statistical methodology applied to it.

There are not many public results in scientific literature about the effects of rarer cannabinoids on humans. Being part of these studies gives participants the opportunity to be part of cutting-edge research.

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So How Does It Work?

Prospective participants for the ebbu studies are asked to fill out a brief survey about their cannabis experience, along with a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) and consent form.

Once they’ve signed the NDA, they learn about the mechanics of the process and can decide whether they want to continue. Participants must be willing to try the product without knowing precisely what it will do, kind of like trying a new strain of cannabis. The test products comply with state laws and pass compliance testing for safety.

Those who seem like good candidates are put into a permanent pool to be invited to studies for which they fit the demographic.

Invited study participants pick up the trial product at a dispensary in a central location in Denver, then conduct the test in the privacy of their own home and give feedback about their experience.

ebbu’s human pharmacology team tallies up all the feedback and shares the results with the cell lab team. Then the cell lab keeps testing and formulating, and the cycle continues.

Studies are currently run every two to three weeks, and participants may be invited to participate in more than one study. In addition to approximately .25 gram of free product, participants also receive a gift card and the knowledge that they are helping move cannabis research forward.

Sound like something you’re into? Sign up for ebbu’s cannabis research studies here.

Cannabinoids: The Building Blocks of Cannabis

By ebbu Staff

Cannabis researchers working to take the mystery out of cannabis as medicine are digging deeper into the chemical structure of this complex plant, discovering more about the true source of its seemingly magical medical properties. Along the way, they have uncovered an interesting trick—the human body is designed to interact with cannabis, in the form of compounds in the plant known as cannabinoids.

Cannabis researchers have identified two primary cannabinoid receptors: cannabinoid receptor 1 (CB1), predominantly present in the nervous system, particularly the brain and other organs including the adrenal gland, heart, lung, prostate, uterus and ovaries; and cannabinoid receptor 2 (CB2), predominantly found in the immune system.

When cannabis is ingested, your endocannabinoid system interacts naturally with various cannabinoid compounds. Cannabis researchers have been studying the benefits of these interactions as alternative treatments for a variety of human illnesses and conditions, from reproductive health and multiple sclerosis to mental health disorders such as schizophrenia.

The National Cancer Institute reports that cannabinoids can treat the side effects of cancer therapy, and that cannabis has been shown to kill cancer cells in laboratory tests.

Two primary cannabinoids, cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)—discovered by cannabis researchers in 1963 and 1964 respectively—are familiar to most cannabis consumers. THC is the intoxicating cannabinoid of the cannabis plant, used to increase appetite, decrease pain, reduce inflammation and aid in muscle control problems. CBD, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid, also works to decrease pain and inflammation and has been found to be an effective treatment for epileptic seizures.

But those two cannabinoid compounds represent just the tip of the iceberg. Researchers have so far discovered over 100 different cannabinoid compounds from the cannabis plant that can interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

 A molecule of cannabichromene (CBC) (Wikimedia Commons)

A molecule of cannabichromene (CBC) (Wikimedia Commons)

Identified cannabinoids include cannabigerol (CBG), an antibiotic; cannabichromene (CBC), an anti-inflammatory; various subsets of THC, including THCV, an analgesic, and THCA, a non-psychoactive cannabinoid acid found in raw cannabis that can be used to treat epilepsy; cannabinol (CBN), a sedative and anticonvulsant; cannabidiolic acid (CBDA), an antibiotic; and cannabifuran (CBF), an antibiotic.

Many other identified cannabinoids, such as cannabitriol (CBT), cannabioxepane (CBX) and cannabinodivarin (CBDV), have been shown to affect the endocannabinoid receptors, and more clinical studies are underway by cannabis scientists, including ebbu’s own research team.

In fact, the National Institute of Health has spent nearly $500 million on research into cannabinoids and the endocannabinoid system since 2015, with another $143 million projected for this year. Their clinical research is examining all classes of cannabinoids, including the molecules that change their concentration or activity, and how these compounds interact with the body’s endocannabinoid system.

In the meantime, anecdotal reports by medical patients about the beneficial effects of cannabis, along with deeper and broader research by scientists, continue building evidence about the efficacy of cannabinoids working in the human body.

And one day, many years from now, we may know all the secrets of this amazing plant, including the ways in which the dozens of other cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system, both individually and in combination with each other, and how those interactions might benefit the humans the cannabis plant seems to naturally want to help.