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Marijuana and CBD: Full Spectrum Labs offers free testing to locate rare, pain-relieving strains

You know your favorite medical marijuana strain by look, smell and taste, and you could pick it out of a lineup without fail. But aesthetics aside, do you understand what really makes up that cut of Ft. Collins Cough or Sour Kush? Through August, Full Spectrum Labs will do two free tests of raw cannabis for every card-carrying patient (or his or her caregiver) in Colorado.

All you need is a half-gram of plant material, your med card, an ID and a "permission to test" form (available here); once you've got it, take everything to the Full Spectrum Labs office, 4260 Kearney Street in Denver.

According to Full Spectrum's Buckie Minor, the idea behind the free testing is to help pinpoint and locate strains high in CBD, one of the more pain-reducing cannabinoids found in marijuana. Many shops that have high CBD strains are keeping clones of the plants "close to their chest," he says, which means the strains aren't becoming as widely available as they should be.

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Through the free testing service, Full Spectrum will be looking for high-CBD strains that caregivers or patients growing the MMJ at home are more willing to share. "We really hope to open up the genetic pool to patients a lot more," Minor explains.

The tests are also a good opportunity to see just how accurate that report you've seen at a dispensary actually is. Last year, Westword ran one sample through four different labs, including Full Spectrum, and came up with varying results and one simple conclusion: While tests can give a good general idea of THC and CBD levels, without a standard method for every lab to follow, it's still just a general idea.

But it's better than nothing. So if you doubt the 24-percent THC levels your dispensary is touting for its Island Sweet Skunk, or want to find out why that Afghani locks you into the couch every time, now is your chance to do some free fact-checking.

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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