Wednesday, November 21, 2018

This week's C&EN

A few of the articles in this week's issue of Chemical and Engineering News:


  1. I have seen a pilot plant setup for CBD production on 1 kilo scale, the footprint is small and the hemp variant used is not controlled material because it contains no THC. I cannot go into details but supercritical setup is not required, a simple extraction with a very cheap low toxicity solvent is required, then decarboxylation of the extract, spinning band column vacuum distillation followed by recrystallization of the distillate. I think no synthetic method can mach that in terms of cost of materials, low risk and high-robustness of the method, even if the hemp plant contains just few % of CBD by weight.

    THC is harder because it does not like to crystallize even after distillation, some tricks have to be used (which I cannot discuss) to get around the purification problem. Since menthanedienol sunthesis on large scale has been developed, making THC by a synthetic route is viable. In the end though, the companies that secure FDA non-generic approval in US are not pushed for the lowest cost of production because the cost of the active substance is a small fraction of the cost of a non-generic medication. THC is very active so you need only a little, and even less active compound like CBD has active dose in the 100mg range. (Of course once they put it into facial lotions and rash-treating ointments, the price will need to be reasonable).

  2. Looks like Dow is going the way of Pfizer and big pharma - zero interest in any long-term R&D beyond the next few quarters.

  3. Great article chemjobber, I really like it

  4. Your "I dunno, "meta-meat" doesn't sound very tasty" links to the professional jealousy article.


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