I am the Chief Science Officer at Delic Corp and spearhead the R&D operations at Delic Labs. We have roots with the University of British Columbia and continue to collaborate in shared lab space.

I will be speaking at the Emerald Conference in San Diego on AI optimizations for cannabis extraction. Our goal was to use data and a machine learning approach that could compensate for the variability of biomass, predict maintenance, and fine-tune parameters each run. We have seen success with co2 and ethanol extraction improving productivity by 20-50%.

In an effort to communicate our findings I intended to a quarterly AMA. Each will have a topic, but feel free to ask me anything.


Comments: 254 • Responses: 59  • Date: 

Zaos_Khiddel32 karma

I've heard that cannabis can affect your memory and your ability to process information when used long term (ex. Multiple times a day over the period of several years). I know every person's chemistry is different but generally, would you say there are negative long term effects? What does recovery from something like that look like?

Thanks for doing this AMA btw!

deliclabs42 karma

 it is well known that cannabis use can produce short term memory problems as THC attaches to receptors in the brain that are vital for memory function including in the amygdala, cerebral cortex and hippocampus. The long term effects on memory are still unknown at this point.


YanDoe5 karma

Are these problems short term? Or permanent?

deliclabs18 karma


naverr9911 karma

Hello Dr. Roggen,

I work in extraction for a large cannabis company. What are your thoughts about current extraction methods?

I primarily run a closed loop hydrocarbon system. Do you think these types of concentrate can remain competitive as solventless extracts gain popularity?

Thoughts on chemical/qualitative differences between live resin, rosin, and cured extracts?

Thank you for your time!

deliclabs16 karma

Current extraction methods are crude and inefficient. The three main solvents are not per se bad, just not optimized yet. And each solvent has its specific pros and cons. They make specific products and so do solventless processes. Solventless processes have a hard time scaling, so solvents will keep their place.

naverr993 karma

I've only been in the industry for about a year, but coming from a chem-tech background I do feel that many hydrocarbon extraction systems are engineered with some major shortcomings, but I trust that innovation is ongoing... From a fundamental, chemical standpoint, could you outline some of the pros/cons of butane (n/iso) v.s. propane?

Thank you so much!

deliclabs11 karma

There is not much difference between different simple hydrocarbons. We did kinetic studies on various solvents and all the hydrocarbons we screened were a match. And the work by Qui and Albrecht takes it even a level higher: https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acs.oprd.0c00364

Fungnificent11 karma

I'm an extraction tech with over 7 yrs in the industry. The head of the R&D department at my company has a doctorate in chemistry, and has never touched the plant.

They're currently burning up kilo upon kilo of flower we cultivate at our facility to answer a very dumb question (that was answered back in the 70s).

They ignore all the advice I give, and when they Do listen, they take credit for it at corporate.

What should I do?

What should the industry in general do about the rampant ineptitude at the c-class level in this industry?

deliclabs15 karma

Not a chemistry questions, more a psychology question. I also know a lot of horrible, pretentious PhD chemists.

On the other hand, I have encountered a lot of legacy professionals, that refused to accept basic chemistry facts, because 'they know better'.

And this industry is not unique. In Pharma you only get a say if you have a PhD, the lab techs have more experience but are not heard.

deliclabs9 karma

The industry as a whole is maturing, and eventually will be so competitive, there will be no room for mismanaged science. Unfortunately, growers and processors are having a much harder time financially than distributors and retailers. High-level MSO experience is valuable, fight for credit and give it your best shot internally. Ultimately your career choices are yours, my advice would be to stick with cannabis as long as you are passionate.

Tetrahedonist8 karma

I haven't used pot since 1981. I am now retired and will never be drug tested again. I would like to experience cannabis again. However, I do have coronary artery disease. Does any medical literature indicate that my condition would make trying edibles a bad idea?

deliclabs12 karma

That is out of my expertise. For medical questions, please as a doctor. There are good cannabis doctors around.

Double_Cicada7 karma

Does using a dry herb vaporizer extract more cannabinoids than smoking? I'd also like to know more about what temps are best for vaping (both for effects and minimizing the amount of sut inhaled)

deliclabs7 karma

Good question on the herb vaporizer. We should get our smoke robot on it soon. Then I have an answer for you.

For best temp on vaping, best is difficult to define. But lower voltage leads to less decomposition. https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acsomega.9b02301

gunnathrowitaway7 karma

Is it true that "strains" and "indica vs. sativa" are BS folklore with no basis in science?

deliclabs25 karma

To start, a plant is only a strain if it is genetically modified or a descendant of a GMO plant. They should be using the term cultivar. Lamarck decided in the 18th century that there was cannabis Indica and Sativa. However, this taxonomic acceptance is hotly debated. Botanical taxonomists never agree on anything. To avoid a fight, there are chemotypes of cannabis with high and low THC.

deliclabs16 karma

There is little correlation between named cultivars and their chemovar profile- which is what I am interested in.

deliclabs4 karma

To start, a plant is only a strain if it is genetically modified or a descendant of a GMO plant. They should be using the term cultivar. Lamarck decided in the 18th century that there was cannabis indica and sativa. However, this taxonomic acceptance is hotly debated. Botanical taxonomists never agree on anything. To avoid a fight, there are chemotypes of cannabis with high and low THC.

deliclabs6 karma

That is the censured version of my thoughts on the stupid "Strains" and "Indica vs. Sativa" debate. We had a hot debate on it in my last AMA too.

hobnobbinbobthegob6 karma

Delta-8 and other hemp-derived THC is a hot topic in my state (MN).

Outside of the need for regulation to ensure purity/safety, do you have any thoughts or findings on the use of Delta 8?

deliclabs13 karma

∆8-THC is only a hot topic in the USA as the regulator legalized hemp for CBD and other cannabinoids then ∆9-THC. Now everyone things that it is a great idea to synthesis new stuff from CBD extracts, just so people can get high and claim it to be legal.

But, this ∆8-THC is brought to you from the same people that thought Vitamin E acetate is a safe vape additive. (EVALI anyone?).

Aside from the unclear pharmacology of ∆8-THC, the process in which it is made leads to many byproducts. Who thought it was a great idea to make synthetic stuff and claim it to be in the same way as 'whole plant, natural, entourage' cannabis?

And I am not the only one that is scared of the ∆8-THC storyline:



Rainbow_Jew6 karma

How much weed do you smoke after an average work day? Or do you smoke at all

deliclabs24 karma

Our robot can smoke up to 10 joints per day. After that I am so exhausted, I just have some Swiss chocolate after work.

Rainbow_Jew2 karma

That sounds lovely. Also, if you were being serious, I’d love to know more about this robot…

deliclabs15 karma

yondershock5 karma

What are your thoughts on cannabinoid hypermesis and ways to avoid it? I battled it for years now and have so much anti nausea medications

deliclabs16 karma

There is a genetic component to cannabinoid hyperemesis. Russo et al wrote about it here: https://www.liebertpub.com/doi/full/10.1089/can.2021.0046

Otherwise, stop consuming cannabis!

WatchMyBROnouns3 karma

Why do some types of weed make people freak out and have panic attacks and others make them very very chill. Also how can you tell which ones are the "im dying" ones?

deliclabs13 karma

Different cannabis cultivars produce different chemical profiles, aka chemovars. Then there are effects on the chemistry by the processing steps. And lastly, different people experience cannabis differently. So, no I cannot help you with the "I'm dying" ones.

deliclabs7 karma

And don't forget that different consumption methods lead to different effects. A gummy will hit you later and harder than a joint.

lynivvinyl3 karma

Is anyone working on making cannabis grow and flower even faster?

deliclabs4 karma

I am no botanist, but there has been some research done to select for taller and faster-growing plants: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1186/s12870-021-03079-2 And some research using tissue cultures to study the plant growth: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpls.2021.627240/full

I am sure as we learn more there will be some interesting discoveries in this field. Maybe in 100 years, we will have plants that take a day to grow.

hwkang3 karma

Hello! I recently read an article about how cannabinoids can inhibit the replication of the COVID-19 virus and thought it was pretty interesting. Do you happen to have more details/info/opinions on this?

deliclabs29 karma

Yes, there were two publications about cannabis and COVID.

One paper investigated that cannabinoids acids, particularly CBDA and CBGA, can prevent the Sars-CoV-2 from infecting cells. Those experiments were done in-vitro.

The second paper looked at how CBD can prevent the replication of the Sars-CoV-2 in a cell that is already infected. They did it in-situ and in a mouse model.

Those two papers are interesting, but you need to realize that those are fundamental research studies. They are not treatment studies. There is currently no data or proof if this would work in a human.

ansefhimself2 karma

Greetings Dr!!

First of all, thanks for spending your life researching Cannabis so that those of us who use it can spin those negative stereotypes into useful facts.

My question is, what are the current correlations between Cannabis use/habitual usage and the onset of Psychosis and the related symptoms?

I've heard new studies suggesting that usage during puberty can cause significant increase in symptoms related to mental disorders and even cause lasting emotional effects.

deliclabs3 karma

A study in Australia in the 1980s, and one from the UK in 2007, did not find links between cannabis use and the incidence of psychosis; although, a couple of recent studies (UK and Swiss, 2006, 2009) suggested some evidence in an increase in psychosis among high consuming young males. The current advice is that young people or those with preexisting psychological conditions should not consume cannabis because of the potential risks.


BamBamKoloff2 karma

How does cannabis use impact BP and heart rate? I was recently diagnosed with HPB and made the move to cut out anything that may effect it, i.e. caffeine intake, reducing sodium in my diet, and stopping my cannabis use. I was just curious if it does have an impact and it's good that I stopped, or could I continue to use with no harm? Thanks for answering!

deliclabs6 karma

Firstly, I am a chemist, not a medical physician. But there are anecdotal reports of CBD being used to manage caffeine stimulation. And there is some literature to support the presumption.


DK20272 karma

Are you a stoner?

deliclabs3 karma

I am a rock climber, I even have a climbing instructor license. Is that what you mean with stoner?

DK20271 karma

Nice but i meant do you smoke weed

deliclabs2 karma

no, I don't

LovableOldJames2 karma

What is the ideal time and temperature to convert THCA to THC?

deliclabs1 karma

There is no ideal time. The matrix that THCA is in greatly affects the decarboxylation process. We have done multiple studies on the question of decarboxylation. Even what is the mechanistic background.



Beefsupreme6502 karma

Do you feel there is too much of a focus on thc and not other cannabinoids? Most people don’t know about the entourage effect or why they should care to begin with. Is there a way we could teach people about the value of cbd or cbn etc.?

deliclabs13 karma

I would even that CBD and CBN are already in the focus. There are over 150 cannabinoids. And your post only mentions 3.

Compounds like THCA-B, CBDD, THCP are exciting chemical structures and have unexplored potential.

I am not sure there is a good way to teach people about minor cannabinoids, if those people believe that bleach is healthy.

deliclabs4 karma

We have build a database of cannabinoids and other compounds in cannabis, the 'entourage' you speak of. The list is around 800 compounds long and ever growing. We are happy to share it with the world.


MIlobran2 karma

Have you personally heard of or seen increases in cannabinoid hyperemesis as cannabis strength has gone up? I personally am affected from the illness, and the obvious treatment is stop smoking/heavy moderation. But I was just curious if you have caught wind of it in your profession.

deliclabs7 karma

During my time working in cannabis companies, I never had a colleague that had cannabinoid hyperemesis. And there were a lot of heavy users. What I did experience was that the people working in cultivation and processing would develop allergies to cannabis plant material. Cannabis is a known sensitizer and we enforced N95 masks in all processing rooms. We were so ahead of our time ;-)

dragontopia1 karma

What does sensitizer mean? Would people who worked on trimming plants develop allergies? What kind of allergies? Thank you!!

deliclabs1 karma

About sensitizers:


We saw both airway and skin problems with workers.

CrumplyRump1 karma

Is there a limit to how high a person can get? A super saturation point?

deliclabs8 karma

If there is, my former colleagues in California have not found it yet, and are still trying.

CrumplyRump1 karma

I ask because of more self reported studies have found concentrate users have a non scalable high in comparison to consumption amount


So I wondered on a chemical level if there was a receptor process limit or what might be happening

deliclabs3 karma

Great find, I would have expected similar results. There are only so many CB1 receptors you can fill with THC. At some point they are all full.

dunnooooo311 karma

Is it true that ‘hempcrete’ can be a viable alternative to concrete?

Or what about hemp based paper, hemp based clothes, hemp based everything seems to be popular now so do you see a future for these types of products?

deliclabs1 karma

hemp clothing is an old story in Europe. Climbing ropes used to be made out of hemp. Hemp makes long fibres that can be processed into many useful products.

A new report put the carbon footprint of construction at around 40% of all emissions. https://www.worldgbc.org/news-media/WorldGBC-embodied-carbon-report-published

Therefore coming up with less energy intense construction materials might be helpful.

RadiatedEarth1 karma

I have been working on a cannabis infused coffee, because I saw that THC and caffeine molecules love each other. Since it was on the internet, what does someone with real cannabis knowledge and experience with the chemical side think of this?

deliclabs2 karma

THC does not dissolve in water, caffeine does dissolve in water. Good luck getting those two compounds in one drink without emulsion technologies.

velocifapp3r1 karma

What are the long term chronic effects of marijuana smoke? Will it cause long cancer with enough frequency?

deliclabs1 karma

The National Institute of Science in the USA looked into the claim of lung cancer and cannabis use. They could not find any evidence supporting such claims.



positive_express1 karma

If my mom left a joint in a cool dry place 20 years ago and we found it and smoked it. Would we get high? What is the half life of THC I guess?

deliclabs2 karma

Many research groups have looked into this question. There must be many researchers with mothers, that left joints lying around.

But more interesting then smoking would be to try to analyze the genome of the 20 year old cannabis. How much did change through breeding since then? Are there genes that offer new flavours?




hexicat1 karma

Can a person have a bad trip from edibles?

deliclabs2 karma

11-hydroxy-THC can be formed from oral ingestion of delta-9-THC


hexicat1 karma

Sorry I’m dumb. Can you explain to me like I’m 5?

deliclabs1 karma

11-hydroxy-THC is the first metabolite that the body forms from THC when ingested. And 11-hydroxy-THC is more intoxicating then THC itself. Therefore you get more bang for your buck if you eat it instead of inhale.

seeyaspacecowboy1 karma

Is there any truth behind different types of weed producing different types of highs? I've often heard indica is a "mind" high and sativa is a "body" high.

deliclabs1 karma

see below on why "indica vs. sativa" is bullshit.

For different effects, it is a results of different chemical profiles, chemovars. Those are effected by plant genetics, cultivation practises and processing steps.

casperrosewater1 karma

Based on your knowledge of the research is it worth an attempt to treat depression with CBD? With low-dose cannabis (where it is legal)?

deliclabs3 karma

My research is in the chemistry of cannabis, not the medical effects. We also research psychedelic compounds. Those psychedelic compounds, plus ketamine, have more evidence in the literature to be helpful with treatment resistant depression.

Those questions are better directed to a psychologist, not a chemist.

yeetafetuslol1 karma

What kind of research is being done on the effect of regular cannabis use on the microbiome? Anything of note you want to share?

deliclabs3 karma

Actually, this is a very interesting question. There is a lot of research to look at the cannabis microbiome itself, but limited research is being done to look at how it affects the human microbiome. This would be an interesting thing to learn about and I hope the research takes off.

Here are some papers I did find:



shaokim1 karma

Hi, thanks for the AMA.

What are your findings so far concerning vaping dry flower as opposed to smoking it? How much safer can we assume vaping flower to be?


deliclabs4 karma

Our robot has been busy smoking joints to look at the effects of particle size. Vaping dried flower will come later. So wait a little longer please.

da_slab1 karma

Is there a website where we can follow along these findings?

da_slab1 karma

Is it true that synthetic cannabinoids which are being sprayed on CBD weed, are impossible to see see on a microscopic image, But are only detectable with a high performance liquid chromatography or gas chromatography with mass spectrometry coupling instrument? Since the cannabis plant and trichomes are so fragile, shouldn't such liquid leave some type of residue or some undissolved crystals as we can see with synthetic cannabis (Spice)?

deliclabs2 karma

Residue from adulteration can remain, but not necessarily. And it is impossible to see molecules. They are small than the amplitude of visible light. Therefore no magnification glass would help. A chemical analytical instrument is needed to spot those synthetic cannabinoids.

Fungnificent1 karma

How do you define productivity?

For example- with CO2, you can get a rather complete extraction far more efficiently (processing time) than ifnyou were to shoot for a cleaner sub critical run. The caveat is that you add up to a week of post-processing labor for a super critical run due to all the excess undesirables that now need to be filtered out. (Assuming you're shooting for a 97%+ supercrit pull)

deliclabs1 karma

Great question. Something we are fighting with producers every day. I like to consider whole-system efficiency. If the fast extraction takes extra in post-processing it is not fast. I might even be willing to leave some THC in the plant to move more biomass through the system.

PM_me_your_DEMO_TAPE1 karma

What is your opinion on daily cannabis use?

deliclabs4 karma

you do you

onowar1 karma

What are the most reliable facts about cannabis in: 1. medical use 2. abuse ?

_jedermann_1 karma

Did you know your name means "rye" in German?

deliclabs4 karma

As I am German and grow up in Germany and went to a German primary school, my fellow students made me well aware of the meaning of my surname. Most of my offensive nicknames related to backed goods.

FoxHoundPT1 karma

What do you think as cannabis related non-medical purposes.

I'm a student in Biochemistry applied to health.

In this case, I completely refuse but I want to read your opinion. I think cannabis as treatment of side effects of chemotherapy in oncological diseases and anxiety does a great job. However, chronic consume of cannabis can lead to neurological diseases and memory loss.

I wanted to share my opinion about this topic because is nice to have a healthy discussion.

Also, it is the THC that causes the neurological problems?

Thank you for your time :).

deliclabs3 karma

Hi, I answered a similar question about psychosis below. And about non-medical, or recreational consumption, I have gone through an evolution in my views. I cannot forbid another person to partake in legal activities. But I also don't need to participate in something that I don't want to.

Also, cannabis is not the only harmful legal recreational drug. Alcohol and tobacco are far more dangerous.

AutumnBegins1 karma

What is your favorite pizza topping?

deliclabs3 karma


Just to be controversial

WeedRichards1 karma

Do you consume cannabis?

deliclabs2 karma

No, but my robot smokes a lot.

Marthiiina1 karma

Are you a medical doctor or a PhD doctor in your origin - or both?

deliclabs1 karma

PhD in chemistry.

Marthiiina1 karma

Cool. What is your dream goal in life?

deliclabs1 karma

My psychologist and I having working on this question for a few years now. We still have not found an answer.

lilgizmo8381 karma

What's your advice for a daily weed smoker other than "quit or go smokeless"? I want to be healthy with my habit.

deliclabs3 karma

I am in no position to give health advise. But I can answer the question on how much THC you are inhaling per puff from a joint or vape. And I have a good idea what the other compounds are you inhale.


Pete_maravich1 karma

How much healthier is using my Volcano Hybrid vaporizer than combusting my flower?

deliclabs1 karma

I don't think there is data to quantify that. But our forthcoming work on flower vaporization might shed some light.

[deleted]1 karma


deliclabs12 karma

Best way to beat the test is to not have drugs in your system!

Otherwise you have some good pointers. THC stores in fat. So dieting will release THC from the fat stores into the body.

On the other hand, analytical instruments are sensitive. If there is a drug floating around, they will spot it. Like they find heart medication in skating teenagers.

BitPoet1 karma

Would you rather fight 1 high horse-sized duck, or 100 high duck-sized horses?

Please show your work (assume for the sake of this question that both ducks and horses can get high)

deliclabs3 karma

I rode horses when I was young. And the can kick hard! Even the 1 year old horses. So I am not fighting any sized horses.

And I like myself a crispy duck for dinner. A horse sized duck would feed the whole lab.

throwaway_p90x1 karma

What does research say about what a safe recurring dose of THC or CBD should be? For example is 10mg once a week considered safe? 20mg a day?

I realize safe is subjective, but thinking of things like mental health, sleep quality, brainpower... etc.

deliclabs7 karma

I am a chemist, I can help measuring how much you might be taking, but I cannot speak to the health effects or safe levels.

kaozenkai-2 karma

Not related to what you do, more related how you introduce yourself. Just like many/all doctors.

Why you say "My name is Dr. Markus Roggen"?

I think in your ID is NOT written Dr. Markus Roggen.

Is not more correct "My name is Markus Roggen, and I am a Doctor...." ?

deliclabs5 karma

I am German, and in Germany the PhD title becomes part of your legal name. So my official legal name is Dr. Markus Roggen. My ID card says Dr. Markus Roggen.