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Grade

The world's first grading system for nanoemulsions, exclusively at Le Herbe. Size matters in drug delivery and a nanoemulsion is the most versatile colloidal delivery system the world has ever seen. It's considered the gold standard for food and beverage formulations infused with cannabinoids like Delta-9 THC (D9). This grading system has been in the works for 7 years and is a collaboration between industry and university. We gathered a wide variety of perspectives including connoisseurs, growers, processors, food scientists, chemists, engineers, and much more. We considered numerous grading factors, but ultimately came up with 11 categories as a starting point. Each category is weighted by the individual item, available options, category consideration, formulation consideration, and final product conditions.

We invite you to sit down with your team, go through each category, add up the item points in each of the 11 categories, and double / triple check your numbers. If you don't see a check mark or numerical value for an item then put zero and move on to the next item / category. You can rate your cannabis nanoemulsion as Grade A, B, C, D, F or special grades for those few. Grade F is the lowest quality and may not be safe for human consumption. Version 1.0 is the first iteration and will be fine tuned until perfected.

Contact us today if you would like to add a category, add an item, exclude an item, change a rating, or want to have a conversation about the world's first nanoemulsion grading system (alcohol free). Share with your friends or colleagues and let's make better cannabis products together. You are hereby notified that we'll be highlighting companies / products in Q3 2022.

Version 1.1

Start Here

Cannabis Source + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1
Sun Grown (Outdoor)
Hydroponic (Indoor)
Biosynthesis (Yeast)
Cannabis Extract + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1
Hash Rosin
Live Rosin
Isolate
Live Resin
Badder
Distillate
Shatter
Extract Analysis + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1
CoA (Full Panel)
CoA (Potency + Microbiology)
CoA (Potency Only)
Registered Lab (DEA)
Accredited Lab (ISO17025)
Non-Accredited Lab
Purity + 99% 99-95% 95-90% 90-80% 80-70%
Carrier Oil + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1
LCT-Flavor Oil
LCT
LCT-MCT
MCT-Flavor Oil
MCT
Processing + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1
Microfluidics
High Pressure
Sonication
Rotor-Stator
Combo
Taste the Emulsion + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1
Flavorless
Umami
Sweet / Sour
Salty
Bitter
Lab Analysis + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1
DLS
D50 < 40nm 40-75nm 75-100nm 100-150nm 150-200nm
D90 < 40nm 40-75nm 75-100nm 100-150nm 150-200nm
PDI < 0.1 0.11 - 0.2 0.21 - 0.3 0.31 - 0.4 0.41 - 1.0
EE + 95% 94-90% 89-85% 84-80% 79-75%
TEM
ELS
Zeta Potential (pH 3) ± 40mV + ± 39-35mV ± 34-30mV ± 29-25mV ± 24-20mV
Zeta Potential (pH 7) ± 40mV + ± 39-35mV ± 34-30mV ± 29-25mV ± 24-20mV
Bio Analysis + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1
In Vitro
In Silico
In Vivo (Humans)
In Vivo (Animals)
In Vitro + In Vivo
In Silico + In Vivo
Bioaccessibility (Vitro/Silico) + 85% 84-75% 74-65% 64-55% 54-49%
Bioavailability (Vivo) + 85% 84-75% 74-65% 64-55% 54-49%
Packaging + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1
Stick Pack / Sachet (Powder)
Can
Plastic (Opaque)
Plastic (Translucent)
Plastic (Transparent)
Glass (Opaque)
Glass (Translucent)
Glass (Transparent)
Tincture (w dropper)
Filling + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1
Filling (Automated)
Filling (Semi-Automated)
Filling (Hand Filled)
Headspace (LN2)
Headspace (CO2)
Headspace (O2)
Storage + 5 + 4 + 3 + 2 + 1
Inside / Dark (< 50° F)
Inside / Dark (50-60° F)
Inside / Dark (60-75° F)
Inside / Light (< 50° F)
Inside / Light (50-60° F)
Inside / Light (60-75° F)

Add Up Points

Grade Your Emulsion
LE HERBE™ 115-120
LE HERBE™ 108-114
LE HERBE™ 101-107
A + 94-100
A 87-93
A - 80-86
B + 73-79
B 66-72
B - 59-65
C + 52-58
C 45-51
C - 38-44
D + 31-37
D 24-30
D - 17-23
F 16 and below

* Cheaters never win :)


Hints

Cannabis Source
  • Max: 5
  • Min: 0

The maximum rating is 5 because living soil, sunlight, master growers, and Mother Nature grow the best cannabis. The minimum rating is 0 because you could not know how your cannabis is grown (not recommended).

Cannabis Extract
  • Max: 5
  • Min: 0

The maximum rating is 5 because these are solventless extracts. The minimum rating is 0 because you could not know what type of extract was used (not recommended).

Extract Analysis
  • Max: 15
  • Min: 0

The maximum rating is 15 because you can do a full panel analysis of your cannabis extract, in a registered lab (DEA), and have a purity of +99%. The full panel certificate of analysis (CoA) includes tests for potency, heavy metals, mycotoxins, pesticides, residual solvents, pathogenic microbiology, and listeria monocytogenes. The minimum rating is 0 because you could not test your cannabis extract or even know the purity (not recommended).

Carrier Oil
  • Max: 5
  • Min: 0

The maximum rating is 5 because a combination of long-chain triglycerides (LCT) and flavor oils like orange oil (10 Fold) have better bioavailability than LCT by itself. You need to choose the right oils and ratio in order to have a rating of 5. The minimum rating is 1 because medium-chain triglycerides (MCT) are not big enough to fit cannabinoids in micelles (not recommended). If you look at cannabis nanoemulsion product labels and they use MCT then this is an excellent way to tell that the company / product is not high quality. You could choose not to use a carrier oil depending on the type of cannabis extract and processing conditions, but we did not give this a rating at this time.

Processing
  • Max: 6
  • Min: 1

The maximum rating is 5 because Microfluidics can easily make a nanoemulsion that is monodisperse (< 0.1 PDI) by adjusting flow rates for a lab-on-a-chip (LOC). Microfluidics should not be confused with microfluidization or the company Microfluidics International Corporation (e.g., Microfluidizer®). Microfluidizer uses a hybrid of high pressure and a fixed channel to produce cannabis nanoemulsions with a hydraulic pump that may break down over time. The high pressure option doesn't use a hydraulic pump or need electricity to operate. The minimum rating is 1 because a combination of processing equipment may be a better option than a single process / equipment by itself (i.e., coarse emulsion to nanoemulsion). If listed, add 1 point (combo) to the primary equipment used to make a nanoemulsion not a coarse emulsion.

Taste the Emulsion
  • Max: 5
  • Min: 1

The maximum rating is 5 because a flavorless nanoemulsion is very technical and hard to produce. Umami nanoemulsion is an art and may use less sugar / sourness. Sweet and/or sour nanoemulsions hide the bitterness of your cannabis extract and/or cheap ingredients. A salty nanoemulsion is rated as 2 because it may may effect the zeta potential or stability of the formulation. The minimum rating is 1 because bitter nanoemulsions are not appealing to consumers and hurts the growth of the product category. Humans have natural instincts and we think that anything bitter is bad for your health. Ask for some help or take your product off the shelf.

Lab Analysis
  • Max: 45
  • Min: 0

The maximum rating is 45 because you can analyze your cannabis nanoemulsion with dynamic light scattering (DLS), electrophoretic light scattering (ELS), and transmission electron microscopy (TEM). D50 or Dv50 is the median diameter of the particle size distribution in your nanoemulsion. For example, if you conduct DLS and your cannabis nanoemulsion is D50=40nm, then 50% of the particles in the sample are larger than 40nm, and 50% are smaller than 40nm. If D90=40nm then 90% of your particles are below 90nm. Polydispersity index (PDI), zeta potential, and encapsulation efficiency (EE) are very important parameters characterizing your nanoemulsion. The minimum rating is 0 because you could not perform any lab analysis (not recommended). Le Herbe offers lab services if you do not have expertise or access to this equipment.

Bio Analysis
  • Max: 15
  • Min: 0

The maximum rating is 15 because you can simulate digestion in vitro and confirm bioaccessibility / bioavailability potential in vivo with a human pharmacokinetic study (PK). Bioaccessibility rating is for in vitro and in silico only. Bioavailability is for in vivo only. We understand that you can conduct an additional equation for bioavailability potential (vitro/silico), but we decided not to include this at this time. The minimum rating is 0 because you could not perform any bio analysis (not recommended). Le Herbe offers bio services if you do not have expertise or access to this process.

Packaging
  • Max: 5
  • Min: 1

The maximum rating is 5 and based on a conversion of a liquid nanoemulsion to a cannabis powder. Liquid nanoemulsions have a typical shelf life of 1 year in proper packaging / storage conditions and degrade over time. A cannabis nanoemulsion converted to a powder has a shelf life of 3 years and gets better with age via curing. The minimum rating is 1 because transparent glass packaging or tinctures degrade cannabis nanoemulsions. Tinctures are usually glass with transparent, translucent or opaque labels, but we based the low rating on safety concerns. If a water based tincture (alcohol free) is not stored in the refrigerator after you open it, manufacturer forgot to add preservatives, and/or you have contamination of the dropper then you have product liability (not recommended).

Filling
  • Max: 10
  • Min: 2

The maximum rating is 10 because you can automate your packaging and fill your liquid or powder under a nitrogen atmosphere. The minimum rating is 2 because you could hand fill your nanoemulsion under oxygen (not recommended).

Storage
  • Max: 5
  • Min: 0

The maximum rating is 5 and based on storing your cannabis nanoemulsion in a temperature controlled environment below (< 50° F) in the dark. The minimum rating is 0 because you could store your nanoemulsion above 75° F in a lighted environment or even outside (not recommended). We considered that transporting nanoemulsions may cause confusion because it could have numerous storage conditions. Do not take transportation into the equation at this time.

Cannabis micelle with phospholipids and oil core made by Le Herbe

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