First there was Siri, then Amazon added Alexa, followed by Windows Cortana—and now there’s LACY. While it may not be driven by artificially-intelligent software like the others, it seems like it is.
LACY (Lossless Activation Chamber Y) is a patent-pending invention from Harvest Direct Enterprises. The company is led by two brothers, Zeyead and Ahmed Gharib, who serve as CEO and COO respectively. The pair recently raised $1.5 million in capital in order to fund creation of the first round of LACY systems. The LACY system and Harvest Direct Enterprises took home first place in the Innovation Battlefield Championship at the MJBizConNext in New Orleans in early May.
“We’re just riding the wave,” Zeyead said. “We’ve got the newest tech in the industry right now and we can’t wait to bring it to the market.”
But what is LACY? The best place to start is by explaining the entourage effect. Cannabis is primarily known for containing tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) as well as cannabidiol (CBD). However, this is only the beginning of the long list of phytochemicals that exist in the cannabis plant and are responsible for its diverse effects. The group largely responsible for the effects of cannabis is called terpenes. They are hydrocarbons—meaning oils—that are responsible for much of the smell and taste of cannabis and just about every other food, flower, insect, and fungi. In fact, the same terpenes in cannabis are found in common foods such as lemons (limonene), pine trees (alpha and beta pinene) and hops (myrcene and beta-caryophyllene). The way in which these terpenes, cannabinoids, and other compounds interact is called the entourage effect. Some terpenes, such as myrcene and linalool (also found in lavender), are correlated with sedation, while others, such as pinene, are known to cause alert feelings. This is why it’s important to match a terpene profile to the desired outcome.
Furthermore, when cannabis is eaten, it must be in its decarboxylated form to achieve some of its psychoactive, anti-cancer, anti-nausea, and related effects. To decarboxylate something literally means “to remove carbon” and, in relation to tetrahydrocannabinol, it means converting THC-acid to THC by doing so. Current methods to achieve this step are heating—typically by cooking or smoking cannabis, and chemical methods using acid. However, both of these methods are known to destroy or isomerize/change the terpenes in the cannabis flower, oil, or other product. This results in less effective, less flavorful extracts and little, if any, terpene content.
“You often see edibles labeled as indica or sativa and, as unreliable as those names are already, the issue of terpene loss just makes it worse,” Zeyead said.
That’s where LACY comes in. The lossless part of the name comes from the method to decarboxylate or convert the THC-A without losing any of the terpenes that growers and processors work to preserve. While they aren’t giving up the secret recipe anytime soon, I can say that I’ve seen the test results and sampled their product and it appears to work quite well. LACY can preserve the entire profile of the oil from start to finish in testing. This allows for creation of patent-pending formulas for pills, inhalers, and topical formulations that give the user the full effect of the plant or flower, rather than just a part. LACY recreates the entourage effect experience for the extraction and edible market.
The Gharib brothers are now focusing on finding a fabricator, building out their production line for scale, and launching sales of the new LACY systems. In addition to the approximately $200,000 price tag, Harvest Direct Enterprises is also asking for 15% in royalties for the use of their patents. If you have questions about the technology, licensing, or investing please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.