Category: Products (page 2 of 7)

Cannabis Therapy for Your Pets: Safety and Science from Alison Ettel, Founder of TreatWell

Cannabis products for animals are becoming increasingly popular. Many accounts are emerging of pets being comforted by cannabis-derived tinctures and edibles. Veterinarians are calling for more clinical research on cannabis medicine for pets, and despite a shift in public attitude toward cannabis, the topic is still entangled in controversy.

The Smoke Reports team feels the community deserves a look at the science, the obstacles, and the future of cannabis therapy for pets.


Earlier this month at the Cannabis World Congress and Business Expo in Los Angeles, Alison Ettel gave a presentation on the benefits that cannabis may provide for ailing pets. Ettel is the founder of TreatWell, a cannabis company producing full-plant extract tinctures that focus on consistent cannabinoid ratios for accurate dosing.

TreatWell’s line of pet products includes tinctures for both small and large pets. We had the chance to discuss the current situation with Ettel and get an inside look into the cannabis industry for pets.

The Scientific Potentials of Cannabis Therapy for Pets

The endocannabinoid system is a complex system of receptors that is found in humans, cats, dogs, and many other animals including some birds, reptiles, and possibly insects. Humans have been connected with cannabis for thousands of years, but only in the last few decades have we been uncovering the science behind the endocannabinoid system and how it interacts with the other systems in our bodies.


There is more than enough anecdotal evidence that cannabis promotes wellness, but the scientific community has been unable to perform significant clinical trials because of prohibitive legal hurdles.


Our pets also have these endocannabinoid systems, and many people are reporting that their animals also benefit greatly from cannabinoid therapy. There are groups preparing clinical studies of cannabis therapy for domesticated animals, but there is still a lot of debate due to an overall lack of data.

Pet Health is a Major Industry Already

The legal cannabis industry is blossoming from its infancy. The pet industry on the other hand has always been huge. We spend a lot of money on our animals, especially when it comes to medication and trips to the vet. It is no surprise that the intersection between cannabis and pet health is getting a lot of attention from both businesses and concerned pet owners.


During her presentation, Alison Ettel discussed how 65% of American households own pets, with a total of 86 million cats and 78 million dogs. Pet ownership is a big responsibility and many people will tell you that their furry friends are actually family members.

When pets get sick, it is our responsibility as caregivers to help them feel comfortable and get healthier. Cannabis is making a splash in recent conversations on pet medicine, although historically cannabis for pets and livestock is nothing new.

TreatWell: Ratio-Specific Cannabis Medicine for Humans and Pets

Our team at Smoke Reports loves giving recognition to upstanding organizations that are committed to quality cannabis information and products. TreatWell definitely makes the list of companies that are concerned with the longterm effectiveness and consistency of their medicine. In our conversation with Alison Ettel, we were given a full breakdown of why TreatWell began creating cannabis medicine for pets, and the results that pets are experiencing.


TreatWell is very conscious of the effectiveness of different cannabinoid ratios. Just like humans, animals each have a unique endocannabinoid system, so there is no standardization for dosing or ratios when it comes to pet medicine.

Cannabis medicine for pets gets even more complicated when you take into account that animals have different metabolisms from our own. Ettel aims to give pet owners a consistent medicine that will allow them to safely and effectively provide their animals relief.

Collage of cute dogs and cats isolated on white

TreatWell provides the community with pet tinctures of two different CBD:THC ratios (20:1 and 1:1) that are available in two different potencies to provide for both small and large pets. Both tinctures are derived from top shelf cannabis flowers with specific cannabinoid ratios and terpenes intact to optimize cannabis synergy.

Many pet medicines do not actually contain THC and are derived from fibrous hemp. While more research is of course needed, anecdotal evidence shows that pets respond more effectively to the synergistic effects of different cannabinoids and terpenes, just like humans do.


TreatWell’s 20:1 tincture (CBD:THC) for pets is non-psychoactive, and meant to target anxiety, arthritis, mild pain, inflammation issues and seizures. There has been a particular amount of positive evidence of effective relief for cats suffering from pancreatitis.

The 1:1 tincture (CBD:THC) is non-psychoactive in small doses, but does have equal amounts of CBD and THC, which requires extra vigilance when medicating your pets. The 1:1 tincture targets appetite stimulation, cancer, severe pain, end of life comfort, and skin conditions when applied as a topical.


The Small Pet Tinctures contain 75 total milligrams of cannabinoids and the Large Pet Tinctures contain 300 total milligrams of cannabinoids. Ettel suggests that you begin medicating your pet with very low doses at night and slowly build up to their minimum effective dose.

This requires pet owners to live in tune with their animal while finding the perfect dose. Cats and dogs can’t tell us that they are uncomfortable, and signs of intoxication can mean too much THC.

The Dangers of Cannabis Overdosing

Animals can certainly have adverse reactions to cannabis. While cannabis is not directly fatal to pets, it is still very important to their health that they do not overdose. The most common effect of cannabis on pets is sleepiness, but this generally goes away as the pet gains a higher tolerance to the medicine.


Animals respond faster and stronger to cannabis due to their receptors having a high affinity for binding with cannabinoids. Severe toxicity symptoms include drooling, loss of motor skills, anxiety, and disorientation. Take your pet to a veterinarian for assistance if your pet is experiencing any severe symptoms from ingesting too much cannabis.

False Medical Language Leads to Warnings from the FDA

In late February of 2015, the FDA issued several warning letters to cannabis producers making medicine for pets. The manufacturing companies were cited for claiming that these medicines (unapproved by the FDA) were capable of cure, mitigation, and prevention of diseases and conditions in animals.


The FDA tested many of these products and found that in some, there was absolutely no presence of any cannabinoid. The FDA does not approve cannabidiol (CBD) for diagnosis, cure, mitigation, treatment, or prevention of medical conditions, but recent anecdotal evidence has been giving many people confidence that cannabis does have wellness properties.

The FDA pointed out in its letters to these companies that cannabinoid medicine cannot advertise healing effects, especially if there aren’t even traces of cannabinoids in the product.


The letters were sent to producers in Washington, California, and Arizona. Even companies that did not receive the latter went ahead and adjusted their marketing language to stay away from false advertising. Unfortunately, the negative press that was doled out to companies producing pet medicine may have a lasting effect on the willingness of people attempting to heal their pets with cannabis.

Veteranarians Want More Cannabis Research

The future of cannabis medicine for pets will likely be a major portion of the cannabis industry. Just like with human consumption of cannabis, we are currently operating without strong clinical studies when we provide our pets with cannabis medicine. Still, anecdotal evidence from pet owners who care deeply about their animals points once again to the healing properties of cannabis.

Veterinarians are calling for clinical studies to be conducted on the medical efficacy of cannabis in pets, but these studies are subject to the same tedious obstacles that cannabis research has been forced to overcome.

The future of cannabinoid medicine, for both humans and pets, relies on our community’s unwavering demand that the government recognize the importance of scientific research to substantiate the medical benefits of cannabis.


For the most up to date info on Smoke Reports, follow us on Twitter @smokereports or like us on our Facebook page. You can also join the discussion in the comments section below, or through our social media links.

Cannabis Cultivation: Methods to Harvest the Finest Buds

The outdoor cannabis season is coming to an end, and soon all of our favorite flowers will be ready to harvest. For cannabis cultivators, appropriate timing and proper techniques are essential for producing the finest quality buds. Smoke Reports feels that the cannabis harvest deserves the spotlight, so that regular consumers have a better idea of the hard work needed to yield top shelf flowers.

Determining the Right Time to Harvest

When it comes to cutting down cannabis plants, timing is everything. As the plant nears the end of its grow cycle, the resinous trichomes reach their peak production. In order to produce a high grade crop, cultivators observe each individual plant to make sure it is not cut before trichome production is at its highest.


The trickiest part for cannabis cultivators is making sure that the resin production does not pass its peak, because that is when the trichomes begin to degrade, and the cannabis loses cannabinoid potency. Knowing when to cut you cannabis plants requires daily vigilance, and a keen eye for the ripest resin glands.

Flushing the Plants of Extra Nutrients

Before cutting down any plants, there are some very important steps that cultivators must take to cleanse their cannabis. Plants nearing the end of their cycle still have excess nutrients, like sugar and starches, that will alter the quality of the cannabis if left in the plant. The removal process is called “flushing,” and should begin roughly two weeks before the harvest.


There are several techniques for flushing nutrients out of cannabis, but essentially the flushing period is when the cultivator feeds the cannabis using pure water without any nutrients. By over-irrigating the growing medium, the nutrients dissolve and wash away, leaving plants with only water in their systems.


Removing nutrients by flushing the plant with pure water leads to nitrogen deficiency, which turns the leaves yellow. Experienced growers test the liquid flowing from the cannabis stem, and once the bitterness is gone, the plant is successfully flushed.

Final 24 Hours

The final forty-eight hours before the harvest is a crucial time for cannabis cultivation. There are many techniques for producing the highest potency flowers, but a majority of techniques agree that right before harvesting, there should be a final flush followed by a full day of dryness. Plants that are left to slowly dehydrate generally see a boost in their final hours of trichome production.

Resinous Trichomes Filled with Cannabinoids

Resinous Trichomes Filled with Cannabinoids

During the final twenty-four hours, growers employ various methods like exposing the plants to dry air, and prolonged periods of darkness. These methods are thought to boost resin production as well as draw any leftover plant nutrients to the root section, and away from the flowers.

Harvesting and Manicuring

After painstaking preparation in the final days of the cannabis flowering cycle, the plants are ready to harvest in sync with peak trichome production. The entire plant is cut away from the root ball, and the leaves are removed from the branches, exposing the pockets of resinous flowers along the stems.



At this time, cultivators begin to manicure the cannabis flowers by snipping away the smaller sugar leaves that surround the cannabis flowers, leaving aesthetic buds with minimal excess plant material. The branches are then hung to dry for roughly a week in order to remove moisture.


Curing Cannabis

The quality of cannabis can be determined by potency or by taste. Properly curing cannabis flowers can improve the overall quality of the buds by evenly removing the final bits of moisture. The time needed to cure depends on the initial quality of the flowers, and good cannabis cultivators have a lot of experience at when to begin and end the curing process.

curing cannabis

Curing is the process of removing the half-dried buds from the branches and sealing them in air-tight containers. This containment causes the buds to “sweat,” and become evenly moist. The containers are periodically opened, and the moisture within the container is exchanged with the dry fresh air. By opening the container several times a day, the air exchange removes the moisture within the herb, sucking nearly 75% of the weight of the original plant matter.


Cultivating perfect cannabis flowers is truly an art. There are thousands of cannabis farms across California, and in a few weeks all of them will be going through these steps with varying levels of complexity. Still, it is important that consumers and patients recognize the importance of technique during the cannabis harvest.  Cannabis flowers do vary from every grow, but consistent quality is almost always produced by careful attention from the cultivator.


For the most up to date info on Smoke Reports and our ever-growing cannabis database, follow us on Twitter @smokereports or like us on our Facebook page. You can also join the discussion in the comments section below, or through our social media links.

Organic Cannabis: Labeling a Controlled Substances as a Safe Agricultural Product

Seeing the word “organic” on cannabis labels is nothing new. Cannabis producers and dispensaries have taken liberties in referring to their products and flowers as organic, grown using organic methods, or even grown on an organic farm. Organically grown agricultural products are generally considered healthier and more sustainable, but there is a problem with organically grown cannabis. It does not exist. Or rather, it does not exist according to the federal government.


Smoke Reports is extremely interested in the future of organic certifications for cannabis. As states move toward legalization, many portions of the cannabis industry reveal the discrepancies between state laws and federal laws. Organic certification is preparing to be the next marquee issue, as states like Colorado begin cracking down on businesses using the organic label to market their products.

The Issue with Schedule I Drugs

The federal government, under the direction of the DEA, classifies cannabis and cannabis infused-products as Schedule I Drugs. This means that cannabis plants are a controlled substance and not eligible to be considered as an agricultural product. The USDA (Department of Agricultural) is responsible for certifying farms and providing them with an organic label. Farms seeking organic certification must comply with several different facets of the USDA organic agriculture checklist:

  • Preserve natural resources and biodiversity
  • Support animal health and welfare
  • Provide access to the outdoors so that animals can exercise their natural behaviors
  • Only use approved materials
  • Do not use genetically modified ingredients
  • Receive annual onsite inspections
  • Separate organic food from non-organic food

Farmers who are seeking organic certification must adhere to these practices of the USDA’s organic standards. Cannabis cultivators are never even considered for this certification, which has led to the general practice of misidentifying cannabis as organic.

Cracking Down on “Organic” in Colorado

In a recent report from The Denver Post, Colorado’s attorney general is beginning to investigate licensed cannabis businesses that are labeling their products or brand as “organic.” According to The Denver Post, and also visible at retail locations in other states, many cannabis companies are skirting the truth in order to include the word “organic” on their labels. Some of the misleading terms are “grown using organic methods,” “grown in organic soil,” “grown to standards of USDA’s organic certification process,” or for some edibles, “created with organic ingredients.”


The Attorney General of Colorado will be charging cannabis companies using the “organic” term with potential fraud penalties. Under the Colorado Consumer Protection Act, falsely labeling a product as organic can lead to fines of up to $10,000 per violation. While this may protect consumers against purchasing “organic” cannabis, there is still a lack of action that can be taken by cannabis cultivators who are actually growing sustainable cannabis using methods that would be considered organic with any other agricultural product.

California Bills Call for a State-Approved Solution

California lawmakers have been taking strides forward to establish a more regulated cannabis industry. SB 643, one of three bills recently passed by both the California Senate and Assembly, directly addresses the issues with denying cannabis cultivators an organic label without providing an alternate avenue for the certification of positive farming techniques.

SB 643: 19332.5.
(a) Not later than January 1, 2020, the Department of Food and Agriculture in conjunction with the bureau, shall make available a certified organic designation and organic certification program for medical marijuana, if permitted under federal law and the National Organic Program (Section 6517 of the federal Organic Foods Production Act of 1990 (7 U.S.C. Sec. 6501 et seq.)), and Article 7 (commencing with Section 110810) of Chapter 5 of Part 5 of Division 104 of the Health and Safety Code.

California is essentially taking the organic certification process into their own hands. The medical cannabis program in California is the oldest in the world, and is often the pioneer in establishing operating standards when it comes to cannabis. Hopefully, other states will recognize the importance of offering cannabis cultivators the opportunity for recognition of their commendable farming methods. Organic farming is not easy, and the cannabis created using these methods deserves to be highlighted as safe and sustainable.


Clean Green Certification

The discrepancies with labeling cannabis as organic have plagued the industry for some time now, and there are third party organizations working to improve the situation for cannabis cultivators. One such group is Clean Green Certified. While most cultivators are well aware of this organization, it is important that consumers also know what this group is trying to accomplish. Here is a description of the service from the Clean Green Certified website:

Clean Green Certified is a program modeled on National and International Organic, Bio-Dynamic, and Sustainable Standards, helping to ensure environmentally clean and sustainable methods. Clean Green inspects all inputs, from seed or clone selection, soil, nutrients, pesticides, mold treatments, dust control, and source of electricity, to methods of harvesting and processing.  The Clean Green program is not USDA NOP compliance or equivalency.

Clean Green Certified offers many services pertaining to the safe cultivation and production of cannabis. While they are not federally recognized for compliance, this organization has been doing an incredible job of giving farmers the opportunity to have an unbiased third party review their farming methods and the flowers produced. This peer review process is a necessary first step for California implementing its own organic certification standards.


The Future of Organic Cannabis

The cannabis industry, and medical cannabis organizations in particular, are very concerned with cultivating quality cannabis under safe farming practices. The topic of “organic cannabis” will continue to make headlines, and until the DEA reevaluates the Schedule I classification of cannabis, our community will rely on state legislators and third party organizations to set the standards for certifying cannabis as organic.


If you are a cannabis cultivator or simply interested in the future of organic cannabis farming, please reach out to us through our contact page. For the most up to date info on Smoke Reports, follow us on Twitter @smokereports or like us on our Facebook page. You can also join the discussion in the comments section below, or through our social media links.

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