This is matcha, or green tea powder, unfortunately.
This is matcha, or green tea powder, unfortunately.

Yes, Marijuana Powder Is a Thing

The annals of humankind will surely reflect kindly on globe-shattering advances hatched right here in California, including UCLA's proto-internet, The Beach Boys' Pet Sounds, the iPhone and, of course, putting french fries in your burrito.

You can now add marijuana powder to that list.

While injecting starchy powders with cannabis concentrates has been done in places like Colorado and Washington, purveyors of THC Design Mix powder, scheduled to be unveiled at the High Times Cannabis Cup in San Bernardino this weekend, promise this product represents a whole new ballgame.

The powder, developed in partnership between cultivator THC Design and the biotech firm Made by Science, is mostly THC, marijuana's active ingredient, and can easily be dissolved in water or sprinkled as an ingredient in baked goods for consistent dosage — attributes its makers claim the old-school powders don't have.

In a statement, THC Design co-founder Ryan Jennemann described the product as the "first easy-to-use, water-soluble, cannabis-extract mixture in California, and one of the first in the world."

In a phone interview Jennemann added that his firm plans to market the powder to edibles makers, which usually rely on an oil form of the volatile, butane-extracted THC known as concentrates to churn out retail-grade brownies, cookies and candy.

"Companies that are trying to do their best when they're mixing in the different THC oils into their edibles, they're not able to accurately distribute that product so every bit has the same dosage," he says. "That's very hard to do with oils."

Using the matcha-like THC Design Mix, edible makers and chefs can treat it as a normal kitchen ingredient, the product creators say. "It's like adding sugar or flour to a baking process," says Made by Science CEO Joshua Held. "You can even sprinkle it on top of food."

These packets are packin'.EXPAND
These packets are packin'.
Courtesy THC Design

The powder's creators also plan to sell it direct to consumers in Los Angeles dispensaries starting in December. Patients can mix the powder into a glass of water and get high by the gulp. In the following months the partners plan to create a "replenishing," flavored version with electrolytes that can be used as hangover beverages, Jennemann says.

How, exactly, these folks turned a plant into a powder is secret. Held says the process is "patented and proprietary." But Jennemann did offer some clues. Makers use ethanol extraction on cannabis and transform the concentrated product into a powder that's micro-encapsulated and water soluble, he says. It results in a product that he says is consistently composed of more than 80 percent THC.

Other pot powders, he says, are mostly starch, and they throw off chefs who don't want the taste and consistency of their creations affected by an ingredient that isn't THC. He compared THC Design Mix's cutting-edge product to a green tea powder-infused dish served at the Bazaar by José Andrés Beverly Hills.

"Having a micro-encapsulated powder has so many impacts, including accurate dosing," Jennemann says.

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