• Suzanna Thallman

Avoiding Tincture Contamination

Updated: Nov 20, 2019


Avoiding Tincture Contamination

News of Standard Wellness' voluntary recall for their water-soluble drops caused understandable concern for many patients. While there were many rumors circulating at this time concerning contamination and adverse health effects, we felt it would be necessary to dispell those rumors and provide further context.


To begin, there was no sign of contamination, nor were there any reported adverse effects as a result of the drops. Standard's drops were sent to a licensed Ohio testing lab which confirmed there was no change in the product that resulted in a failed result in any area of testing.


This is the reason the Ohio Board of Pharmacy did not require a mandatory recall, as the recall was solely decided upon by Standard due to an over-abundance of concern for patient health and trust. The decision to call for a voluntary recall and provide any patients that purchased within a timeframe to return the product for a refund shows the level of commitment and proactiveness to step up and do the right thing without being required to do so. The State would have allowed Standard to continue operations as normal, but Standard felt they should go out of their way to right the situation that they, really, had no control over.


The issue of irregularities with Standard's drops seemingly stemmed from a social media post with pictures showing the liquid drops that had begun to change color and congeal. As a result, there was understandable interest in what the cause of this change was.


The primary reason, it turns out, was simply that the drops should be refrigerated after breaking the seal and opening the bottle for the first time; however, due to the state's restrictions, dispensaries were unable to possess cannabis products in a refrigerated unit. This led to a general ignorance to the fact that the drops had to be refrigerated, and resulted in congealing products for many patients.


It is important to note that there was a picture circulating that included what looked to be a black strand or spot that had developed within the drops. This was by no means an ordinary situation, nor did we hear of any other patients that could confirm this was the case with their drops. The prevailing theory behind the picture is an important consideration when utilizing tinctures: bacteria spreads.


What do I mean by this? Well, when using a tincture dropper, many patients have a tendency to touch the dropper to their lips, tongue, or teeth and gums - whether intentionally or not. When this takes place, it allows for bacteria from your mouth to be transferred onto the dropper, which is then placed back into the tincture liquid. If the bottle, now contaminated with bacteria from your mouth, is left in a hot car for instance, this opens the possibility for the bacteria to spread and grow as a result - bacteria loves heat when it comes to fermentation. This was, I imagine, one of the driving forces behind Standard choosing to produce water-soluble drops rather than oral drops - dripping directly into a liquid avoids any chance of contact with the mouth area.


This is to say that, no matter the quality of the product, improper storage of cannabis products can result in decreasing quality and safety of use. It is incredibly important to remember that, with any cannabis product, understanding how to properly store your cannabis products can help avoid any of these types of issues.


Generally speaking, the three most important factors to account for with tincture storage is cool, dark, and sealed. Do those three things, and tinctures can remain in storage for years! According to Leafly, "virtually any processed cannabis product will experience improved conditions and an elongated shelf life when stored in a refrigerator."


Don't be afraid to ask your budtender the proper storage methods for the particular product that you buy; or, if you prefer, many cultivators and processors have public email and phone numbers that can be used to provide feedback and ask product questions. You can also utilize our patient resource page that covers proper cannabis storage methods.


Looking for cannabis-derived tinctures? There are currently two processors in Ohio providing patients with cannabis-derived tincture products:

Grow Ohio

220 mg THC option, 440 mg THC option, 660 mg THC option, and a 1:1 (CBD:THC) option


Firelands Scientific

15:1 (CBD:THC) option


We have also recently partnered with Joy Organics, a family-operated CBD manufacturer based out of Colorado boasting high-quality hemp-derived CBD products with test results available. To learn more about Joy Organics and the products they offer, including a 15% discount specific to Ohioans, click here.


Ohio Marijuana Card

If you are an Ohioan suffering from one of these 21 medical conditions you may be eligible to treat your ailment with medical marijuana, which includes both THC and CBD products.


Click here to learn more about what Ohio Marijuana Card's state-certified medical marijuana doctors can do for you, or give us a call at (866-457-5559) and our friendly support team can walk you through the entire process, and set you up with an appointment.


Also, be sure to follow us on social media for regular updates and breaking news announcements on Facebook & Instagram!

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