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Cannabis Infused Coffee: New Marijuana Product is Brewing

With Marijuana sales in North America expected to hit $20 billion by year 2021, a San Diego, California-based company is riding the market wave with weed-laced edibles, cannabis infused coffee, to be precise.

The chief science officer of Signal Bay Inc’s Evio Labs, Anthony Smith, says that products like BrewBudz can enhance the cannabis experience with integration into coffee and tea.

Cannabiniers just released a marijuana infused coffee pod line called Brewbudz. It is designed to be used with the Keurig cup line and is now available in the Nevada area at $7 each. It will soon be released in Colorado and California, where the market for marijuana-based products is strong.

Brewbudz cups are compatible with Keurig K-Cup and K-Cup 2.0 product line of coffee brewers. These pods are also 100% eco-friendly since they aren’t made from plastic but from recycled coffee beans.

Primarily a tech company, Cannabiniers aims to revolutionize the marijuana industry by providing a wide range of consumable products. The company understands that the industry is still fragmented and is working to establish itself as a vertically integrated solution provider.

Marijuana Acceptance on the Rise

While there are only 29 states in the US that allow medical marijuana, the acceptance for products which contain the active ingredients from marijuana, cannabinoids and terpenes, is growing quickly. Marijuana has long been praised for its health benefits, but its popularity was dampened by the stigma of addiction and illegality.

However, with renewed interest in using Marijuana for medicinal treatment, industry analysts say that this is the right time to get into the cannabis market – while new products and services based on cannabis are increasing.

A coffee maker, and a marijuana leaf, with California in the back.

One reason for this explosion is that California is set to regulate the industry with the launch of the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA). While the MMRSA does not yet exist, venture capitalists can still come in and make a good investment in marijuana products, including consumables and edibles like Brewbudz.

The chief science officer of Signal Bay Inc’s Evio Labs, Anthony Smith, says that products like BrewBudz can enhance the cannabis experience with integration into coffee and tea. He also noted that this allows for a controlled dose for the user, as well as being in a convenient package.

Cannabinoids and terpenes, the active ingredients of marijuana, are not very soluble in water and the processes as well as additives and other ingredients including emulsifiers may dilute the mixture further. It is important to take note of the processes and ingredients to better understand the cannabis strength in the coffee.

Timothy Walters, the CEO of Cannabiniers addressed the problem and said that they do not extract the cannabinoids using these methods, instead they use the whole flower which would result in the inclusion of terpenes, CBDs and THC, which naturally occur in the plant. The pods come in three strengths: 10mg, 25mg, or 50mg so buyers can choose how strong a marijuana kick they want with their coffee.

Cannabiniers expects earnings of $2 million in Nevada alone. From there, they will expand their market to Colorado and west of the Rockies, including California, Oregon and Washington. The company expects that with these markets they can hit gross revenues of $30 million by 2019.

At present, beverages compose 9-12% of all cannabis food products. Cannabiniers’ cannabis- infused coffee pods are the first of their kind. Los Angeles-based company Compelling & Rich began selling Ethiopian Yirgacheffe coffee beans conditioned with Marijuana in 2015.

There has been a sea change in the public attitude toward marijuana in the past few years, with widespread acceptance of medical marijuana use and a growing acceptance of marijuana as a personal choice for recreational use. Companies like Cannabiniers’ are taking advantage of this potentially huge and growing market with new and innovative products.

SmartQuit App — A Smart App to Help People Fight Smoking Addiction!

Believe it or not, apps and digital games are actually designed to be addictive. They are digital Skinner boxes designed to keep you online and engaged—clicking and sharing away. Now, researchers are turning to game and app developers to help them develop programs for positive behavior modification, which is, in this case, to help people quit smoking. While we often think of apps and games as trivial—sort of cotton candy for the mind,—the truth is that developers have discovered they’re powerful motivational tools. These tools can be harnessed to change the world of addiction treatment in a bold manner. Such a tool is the SmartQuit app.

Psychiatrists from the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, Washington developed an app that helps people quit smoking. They borrowed the tools programmers use to make apps addictive and put them to work in helping people fight their smoking habits. Dr. Jonathan Bricker and Dr. Jaimee Heffner are psychologists and researchers who have always believed that smoking is not just a habit but an addiction that is even worse than heroin or cocaine. To address the problem, the two have turned their attention to how apps work. This step led to the creation of apps which are now used to help people stay healthy. The app called Smart Quit was released in August 2014.

Notably, further work is being done on the SmartQuit app by 2morrow, a Seattle startup. It is available to certain markets but is still being tested before it is released to the nation at large.

Using Apps to Modify Behavior

Bricker and Heffner chose to create the SmartQuit app because of the ubiquity of the smartphone. More than 75 percent of all Americans have smartphones. This fact can be a great help to stay in touch with those who need to quit. The app helps motivate users to avoid smoking and support them when they are badly craving a cigarette.

The SmartQuit app uses techniques from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a form of behavior therapy that helps users recognize intense negative feelings, which include anxiety and nicotine cravings. It also incorporates Behavior Activation Therapy, which is normally used in treating depression. Along with ACT is a library of exercises that help the user resist cigarette temptation. The app helps users focus on something else that can motivate them, which includes providing exercises to help them control the urge to smoke.

a photo containing images of the SmartQuit app pages beside a hand holding a smartphone with its screen open to the app's logo
The SmartQuit app helps motivate and support users to avoid smoking when they are badly craving a cigarette!

SmartQuit App vs. Smoking Addiction

The SmartQuit app chooses a random exercise for a user to do when needed. It also offers push notifications to engage users. The team studied how to word the notification as well as the best time to push it. In fact, the researchers spent a lot of time studying apps and used the research to design the SmartQuit app. Although the psychologists could have used any other habit or addiction to test their app hybrid tool, they chose smoking addiction because it has a huge impact on people and society in general. Smoking is the leading cause of cancer, being the direct or indirect cause of one-third of all cancer cases. What is ironic is that it’s also a very preventable cause of cancer.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are over 480,000 deaths in the U.S. due to smoking each year. Smoking-related illnesses cost Americans more than $300 billion annually, $170 billion of which are spent in direct medical care. The problem with smoking is not just deaths due to tobacco smoke and second-hand smoke. It also has adverse effects on people who have other addictions as well as mental health issues. It has been noted that heroin users are more likely to die of tobacco rather than a drug overdose.

The Bold Impact of the SmartQuit App

The SmartQuit app is a bold innovation that will further the cause of digital healthcare. What companies learn from digital and game development can be applied in many other areas. Next time you think it is just a game, or just an app, remember that all of these products are making huge strides in our understanding of behavior and learning. And that knowledge can have world-changing consequences.

SunShot Project Goals: Reducing the cost of Solar-generated Power

The U.S. Energy Department recently awarded $46.2 million to fund solar power research. The research grants are meant to find ways to improve solar power technologies and also help reduce the cost of this source of solar-generated power to 3 cents per kWh by 2030.

The dollar-cost per watt generated was reached three years ahead of schedule.

There are 48 research projects to be funded, mostly within universities and laboratories to ensure that there is a continuous pipeline of technology solutions, knowledge, human resources, as well as further scientific research to support solar power.

The universities and research facilities include;

  • Arizona State, which is developing an X-ray test for thin-film module performance under harsh environments.
  • Stanford University received a grant for $1.37 million to improve module design using perovskite instead of silicon.
  • $1.13 million worth of grant money will go to Colorado State University for the improvement of manufacturing thin-film.
  • SolarReserve Inc. is set to receive $2 million in research grants to reduce the cost of storing molten salt.

The initiative traces its roots to the Bush Administration in a project called SunShot, which aimed to achieve 5-10 gigawatts of solar power energy generation by 2015. During the Obama Administration, the goals changed to lowering the costs of unsubsidized solar power to be on par with electrical power from regular fossil fuels. By 2015, the cost of solar-generated power production was estimated at 90% of fossil fuel costs.

Solar Power Project is a Huge Success

solar-generated power

The Trump Administration indicated that the federal government would no longer support solar power and renewable energy projects, preferring instead to focus on inexpensive fossil fuel production, including fracking for shale oil. However, the grants were already proposed and in place under the SunShot project which was first approved and implemented by the Bush Administration.

In 2006, the Bush Administration launched the Solar America Initiative. In 2011, The Obama Administration transformed and rebranded the SunShot project, which aimed to achieve parity between the cost of solar power and fossil fuels. Its name references the “Moon-shot” project launched by the Kennedy Administration during the 1960s.

The “Moon-shot” project reached the 90% mark in 2016. In terms of actual figures, the target was set at $1.00 per watt of production by 2020. In 2011, the cost was $4.00 per watt, and by the end of 2016, the institutional price was below $1.00 per watt using fixed-tilt solar arrays. The dollar-cost per watt generated was reached three years ahead of schedule.

With the realization that the goals were going to be met with unqualified success, the SunShot project set new goals which included halving the cost of solar-generated power before 2030.

With the new round of funding for solar power projects and research, there is a continuous pipeline of ideas, discoveries, and technology, as well as workforce which can be tapped for further improvements required by any industry.

While the majority of solar projects focus on installing solar roofs on houses to create sustainable household energy, there is always room for more bold and innovative alternatives.