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Hemp - Cannabis Q&A
w/ Matt Madison - Founder & CEO

"After becoming exposed to cannabis in college, and seeing the developments on the West Coast while growing up, I made a decision my junior year as an undergraduate at Brown University to purchase books and begin studying cannabis. As a Christian, I believe that God gave us this plant for far more than the perceived recreational benefit. I opened the first and most experienced cannabis analytical testing lab on the East Coast in 2011 and have dedicated my professional career to understanding cannabinoid medicine and to advocacy work for patient's rights."

Matt FAQ-72dpi.png

Q: What is the difference between Hemp and Cannabis?

A: Hemp is Cannabis. That's the short answer. I'm not sure how this ever became a topic of confusion because it's well documented in books that there are four strains of cannabis: indica, sativa, sativa hemp, and ruderalis (auto-flower). The real difference between hemp sativa and "drug"  sativa is that hemp is legally defined as being below 0.3% in delta-9 THC content. However, many hemp strains frequently test between 0.2% -1% in delta-9 THC. Perhaps in time laws will change to reflect this norm. 

Q: What is the difference between "Indica" and "Sativa"?

A: Perhaps the most misunderstood "fact" about cannabis is the folklore of how indica and sativa are two strains that are distinguished by the type of high they evoke. However, the truth is that they are distinguished by growth pattern and physical appearance. Sativas are equatorial plants that grow in warm climates with long growing seasons and lots of sunlight. These plants have long, sprawling root systems that enable them to soak up lots of needed water. Sativa have a long flowering time and are tall with  large leaves that are long and thin and have lots of internodal spacing to allow airflow. On the other hand, Indica plants originate from higher altitude, more mountainous regions with terrains in which the root systems cannot grow deep and wide, the flowering season is shorter and the climate more cool. Therefore these plants are more compact with short broad leaves and tend to flower much faster, have a greater tolerance for cold, and do not need to drink as much water or grow as tall in order to produce a fat harvest of buds. Here's where the confusion happens; because these plants are grown indoors, fast flowering indicas are often harvested late. This results in very ripe trichomes containing oil that will be potent in THC and be more diverse in trace cannabinoids, and likely to create a sedating, heavy "indica" high. Whereas, sativas take so long to flower that they are often harvested early and the under ripe trichomes will contain oil with a cannabinoid profile that is mostly THC and CBG and will produce a potencially racing and heady high to mellow, light and thoughtful, as typically associated with sativa plants. Sure, genetics play a part, but this plant can easily be manipulated and the point of harvest is a factor that greatly influences the cannabinoid profile.

Q: What are Heavy Metals and why are they important?

A: Concerning cannabis, Heavy Metals usually refers to Arsenic, Cadmium, Mercury, and Lead. Medical and recreational cannabis are tested for metals, but plants grown with clean water and bought media indoors are unlikely to have issues that are more common with outdoor grown cannabis, particularly hemp. Cannabis is a known "accumulator plant," great for environmental remediation because of it's ability to pull nutrients (including metals) out of the ground and accumulate them in the tissues of the plant. This has been a particular issue, similarly to pesticides issues, with outdoor farming. Even with "certified organic" farms, due to previous farming on the lands, there can be residual amounts of contaminates remaining in the ground without being known.

Q: What is CBD Isolate?

Isolate is an extremely pure crystalline powder form of CBD. Utilizing chemical separation, isolates are typically around 99% pure, for those who just want CBD without any other cannabinoids present.

Q: What does "Broad Spectrum" mean?

A: Broad Spectrum is hemp oil that has gone through short path, or fractional distillation to create a concentrated distillate. The pressure and temperature of the distillation process will remove the terpenes, and because solvents are used, it is almost impossible to recover and reintroduce the terpenes at a later point. After distillation the oil undergoes a chromatography, or a centrifugation step, to remove the unwanted THC. The result is a terpene and THC-free distillate that still contains significant amounts of trace cannabinoids, therefore making it Broad Spectrum instead of Full.

Q: What does "Full Spectrum" mean?

A: Full Spectrum means that the extract contains everything that was naturally present in the plant material from which it was extracted. Although full spectrum oils are common due to it being easier to extract everything than to be selective, the real difference is whether the terpenes were retained during the extraction. Solvent extraction will not allow full recovery of terpenes.  All of the monoterpenes, as well as many of the sesquiterpenes will be lost during the solvent removal process and will not be recoverable in a comparable manner to solventless or CO2 extraction. At ICS we utilize a local CO2 extraction facility to process full plant, phyto-cannabinoid and terpene rich full spectrum hemp CBD oil. The supercritical extraction process extracts everything and because of the super low temperatures and absence of solvent to be removed, the terpenes are retained! These oils are diluted to achieve compliance with <0.3% delta-9 THC laws. 

Q: What is the difference between "Clean" and "Compliant"?

A: "Clean" in regards to cannabis testing means that nothing was detected (ND). "Compliant" means just that, that the levels observed were below the established regulatory thresholds for compliance. However, consideration should be given to the fact that the limits vary from state to state. For instance, California has much higher allowances for pesticides than the limits established in Rhode Island and Massachusetts, which are some of the strictest in the country regarding limits. 

Q: What does "ISO" stand for?

A: International Organization for Standardization. In short, ISO is a type of international accreditation for competency and quality. Use of the standards aids in the creation of products and services that are safe, reliable, and of good quality. The standards help businesses by minimizing errors and waste, and serve to safeguard consumers and the end-users of products and services by ensuring that certified products conform to the minimum standards set internationally. 

Q: What does "GMP" mean?

A: Good Manufacturing Practice. This refers to FDA guidelines for manufacturing and for facilities, equipment, safety, and quality standards. Varying from industry to industry, the guidelines provide minimum requirements that a manufacturer must meet to assure that their products are consistently high in quality, from batch to batch, for their intended use with the goal being to prevent harm from occurring to the end user. Here at ICS we employ a quality management system (QMS) to ensure GMP compliance.

Q: Who Can Benefit from Taking Cannabis Infused Products (CIPs)?

A: Any adult can benefit from taking CIPs. According to customer reviews, most people using them for relief and wellness say that delta-9 CIPs help them with issues related to stress, sleep, and pain.

However, delta-9 CIPs work by boosting endocannabinoid system tone and signaling, which is related to many different benefits to wellness.

Taking small amounts of delta-9 CIPs can help people with issues related to moods, such as mood swings and hormonal imbalances, improve appetite, and provide a much-needed sense of physical relaxation.

Using delta-9 CIPs is also a great way to enhance the experiences of your life, such as being in nature, at a music festival, eating food, watching music, and more.

Delta-9 works by boosting endocannabinoid system functioning, which may help improve several aspects of overall wellness including –

  • Mood

  • Stress

  • Appetite

  • Sleep

  • Inflammation

  • Muscle tension

  • Muscle spasms

  • Cramps

  • Chronic pain

Shop Hemp-Derived Delta-9 THC Products Now!

Q: What Are The Benefits of Taking Hemp Derived THC Tinctures?

A: People take The Tonic for many different reasons related to relief and recreation. In small doses or micro doses, The Tonic has a great relaxing effect that promotes pain relief, encourages sleep, and improves mood and appetite.

In large doses, The Tonic can have a strong psychedelic effect that alters coordination, perception, and mind.

Since each person responds uniquely according to various factors such as tolerance, genetics, dose, age, and others, there’s no one-size-fits-all style dosage recommendation for a particular outcome.

Generally, people take smaller amounts (a half dropper/ 10mg) for mental and physical relief. For recreational purposes, people typically prefer a relatively moderate to a large dose of The Tonic (anywhere from ¼ to ½ of the bottle).

Ultimately, what qualifies as a small or large dose for you will depend on your metabolism, body weight, overall health, age, and other factors.

Q: Delta 8 vs. Delta 9

A: The two compounds are very similar in chemical structure; both have a double bond and are both THC. Delta 8 can cause similar effects as Delta 9 but these effects are far less potent. That may be why you see stronger dosages in many Delta 8 products. The most important difference between the two is that Delta 9 THC is drug cannabis and considered marijuana which has different regulations state by state and Delta 8, as long as it is extracted from hemp, is federally legal after the 2018 Farm Bill was passed.

There has been very little research done on Delta 8, although we hope more is on the way, as with all hemp and cannabis products. It is always recommended to start off with a low dose to see how it affects you. You can always take more, but you can’t take less once consumed.

Q: Is THCO more Powerful Than THC Delta-9?   Answer: Yes.


THCO is a synthetic cannabinoid that undergoes a lot of phases in order to be created. A lab extracts CBD from hemp plant matter. After that, delta-8 THC is extracted from the CBD. In one of the last steps, the solvent acetic anhydride is administered to the delta-8 THC molecule. That method gets rid of all terpenes and flavonoids. What you get has nor flavor or smell. It is a sticky, honey-like THC distillate with about triple the strength.


Users of the cannabinoids report THC-O as more psychedelic than THC delta-9. THC-O takes time to break down, absorb and be used in the body before it takes effect. Even though THC-O is a cannabinoid, it does NOT occur naturally in the plant. In fact, it can only be safely manufactured in a modern, clean laboratory.


Note that the information contained on this page and website is for informational purposes only and by NO MEANS is legal advice. Please do your own due diligence and work with a legal professional to ensure you are operating legally in your state at all times. Thank you.



Note: There are many factors that contribute to how your body responds to any cannabinoid. That includes weight, metabolism, tolerance, dose and setting. With edibles, because it has to go through your digestive system and liver, the onset time could be as much as an hour, or two.

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