Understanding Cannabis Laboratory Testing Procedures

Stephen Howard

Cannabis use has brought a negative connotation for quite a long time. As mindsets shift and medical marijuana gains acceptance, this prejudice is progressively being challenged. Laboratories know this, and they are the institutions that will supply exceptional insight into the chemistry of cannabis.

Numerous procedures within the marijuana sector require to be standardized to thrive in the future. This is part of the approaches, materials, and tools used in data preparation and analysis.

The Purpose of Cannabis Testing Facilities

Lab testing services from places like BelCosta Lab dedicated only to marijuana are called cannabis testing laboratories. These items might mainly consist of THC or CBD. There is a symbiotic relationship between cannabis testing labs and the industry’s supply chain.

As a result, they are vital to the item’s compliance with regulations and ensure that it is safe for human usage. They should likewise guarantee that the details printed on the product’s final bundle is precise. Patients, customers, and the government all gain confidence in the item’s security in this way.

How and what sort of tests do cannabis testing labs offer?

Evaluating for strength and terpene profiles are the two most common types of analysis. Cannabinoid material in a marijuana sample is determined using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) for the effectiveness test.

Typical cannabinoids analysis consists of THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA, CBN, CBG, and CBC. Cannabis terpene testing is likewise commonly carried out. Terpenes are organic substances in cannabis that contribute to the plant’s unique fragrances, tastes, and even colors.

Poisonous chemicals and pollutants are checked for along with the product’s strength and terpene content. Harmful metals consisting of:

  • Arsenic
  • Cadmium
  • Lead
  • Mercury

Ion-coupled plasma mass spectrometry is used to determine and measure these metals. There is more than one reason why metals are so vitally important. Metals in the environment can be hazardous if swallowed or breathed.

This is an issue since marijuana is an accumulator plant, implying it takes in and uses everything in its growing medium. Soil, nutrients, and water are all part of its instant environment.

After looking for drugs and metals, the next thing to do is pesticides testing. Analytes of commonly used pesticides in the house are on a regulated list that labs must examine. Two different instruments have confirmed their presence.

The first piece of equipment is an LCMS-MS or liquid chromatography-mass spectrometer. The 2nd tool is a GCMS-MS or gas chromatography-mass spectrometer. Because different pesticide analytes respond differently to heat, both tools are needed to guarantee accurate results.

In addition, fungi are evaluated for the existence of harmful secondary metabolites. Molds and fungi produce naturally occurring compounds called mycotoxins. Utilizing LCMS-MS, mycotoxins may be recognized and measured with accuracy.

Microbes, which are also tested for, are comparable to mycotoxins because not all microbial types are dangerous. Microbial DNA is enhanced before being extracted and separated.

In marijuana testing, recurring solvents are the last toxins looked for. Various kinds of plant matter, consisting of (but not restricted to), have been looked at and shown to be without residual solvents.

  • Flower
  • Pre-rolls
  • Trim
  • Shake
  • Kief

Rather, edibles and marijuana derivatives are evaluated for the existence of solvents. Some examples are:

  • Vapes
  • Wax
  • Casts
  • Cream
  • Extracts
  • Gummies
  • Chocolate

Composites might be recurring materials from the cannabis extraction or distillation procedure used in these items. The headspace autosampler warms and presses the sample within its vial using a total evaporation method to transform any staying solvents in a sample into a gas. After the vial is pierced, the leftover solvent gas is released and moves toward the mass spec detector.

To End

The procedures, tools, and requirements labs use to prepare samples and examine results differ widely. This causes a big discrepancy between the methods used and the results’ intrinsic dependability. Requirement approaches should be developed and implemented in laboratory operations to confirm the distinction.

It is necessary to mandate that laboratories employ a confirmed method. Moreover, the industry must enforce quality assurance steps. Approach blanks, spiked lab samples, and matrix samples might be used for quality assurance throughout batch processing. This checks the accuracy of the devices and assures that the analytical treatment is untouched by any specific analytes.