Will this bud get you buzzed, relieve your pain, or leave you dazed and confused?
The HiGrade cannabis analytics app uses your smartphone camera and machine learning algorithms to reveal your dry cannabis flowers’ level of THC, the psychoactive compound in cannabis.
The app can be used, where legal, by medical cannabis users to get a more accurate dose, or by recreational users to be more mindful about what they’re smoking.
“Our mission is to empower patients and consumers by giving them access to mobile cannabis testing, allowing them to take charge of their health and wellness,” says Assaf Gavish, cofounder and chief scientific officer of HiGrade.
A Pro version (requiring the purchase of a companion kit containing a HiGrade Scope and activation code) can be used by medical cannabis patients to check potency of THC-only strains of cannabis, and by legal growers to diagnose and treat plant disease, balance nutrients and harvest at the optimal time.
Gavish and cofounder Asaf Levy aren’t some crazy Israeli potheads; they combine serious backgrounds in science and business.
Gavish has a master’s degree in biology from the Weizmann Institute of Science and is an expert in plant science, imaging and image analysis. In 2016, he partnered with management executive Asaf Levy – who has degrees in agricultural economics and business – to found MyCrops Technologies as a machine vision-based diagnostics startup for cannabis growers.
They traveled to northern California’s “Emerald Triangle” region to get to know the needs of legal cannabis farmers there. The main feature in demand was a better way to time the harvest, and the Israelis began developing their product for that purpose.
But soon the focus of the company shifted from cultivators to medical-cannabis users.
“In the market it’s an axiom that with cannabis you never know what you’re getting,” Gavish tells ISRAEL21c. “We saw that we could use the same technology to help a much bigger market with a more acute problem. The best way to raise the quality of cannabis is to help people assess it upon growth and purchase,” says Gavish.
An alpha version of the HiGrade app was introduced in May 2017, and now the Tel Aviv-based six-person startup is set for its big launch with funding from the Israel Innovation Authority and American and European private investors.
The team has processed more than 5 million images to build up its database and analyzed more than 150,000 user-uploaded cannabis flower images.
Based on its records, HiGrade shared these fun factoids about cannabis around the world.
- The highest THC level in European cannabis was measured in Slovakia at 19.33%; The Netherlands was in second place with an average 19.05%.
- The lowest averages of THC in Europe were found in Swiss (17.17%) and Ukrainian (17.28%) cannabis plants.
- The average THC potency for the United States and Canada was similar, around 17.6%.
- Europeans test their cannabis 3.2 times as often as North Americans, while Canadians test their cannabis twice as often as US citizens.