Your latest cannabis business info from Europe

Your latest cannabis business info from Europe

2023-06-01

Cannabis potency, quality and contamination testing

cannabis laboratories testing

Cannabis testing in laboratories is crucial to ensure products’ safety. However, is everyone aware of existing types of testing in cannabis labs? This can be potency, quality and contamination testing. We are going to provide an overview of each of them now.

Cannabis potency testing

Potency testing in cannabis testing refers to the analysis and evaluation of the cannabinoid content. As a result, it mostly relates to the levels of THC and CBD in cannabis products. Such testing is essential in the cannabis sector for several reasons.

First, it offers details on the chemical composition and strength of cannabis products. In this situation, customers can choose wisely based on what results they want. It helps people in understanding the strength and scope of any potential psychotropic and therapeutic effects.

Second, potency testing is crucial for quality assurance and regulatory compliance. THC, CBD, and other cannabinoids in the sample can be measured properly by laboratories thanks to their methods. Thus, potency testing makes sure that cannabis products comply with the law’s THC limit criteria. Such a reason refers particularly to European countries which did not legalise THC. Testing for potency assists in preventing the sale of goods that exceed THC limits or falsely claim to include CBD.

Cannabis contamination testing

In cannabis analysis, the term “contamination testing” refers to the procedure of identifying and evaluating potential contaminants in cannabis and cannabis-derived products. Contaminants can be a variety of things that, when used or consumed by people, cause health concerns or fail to comply with safety regulations. We are able to extract typical contamination testing methods used in cannabis analysis.

First, it may include testing for pesticides. During cultivation, pesticides might come into contact with cannabis plants. To make sure that cannabis products do not include any pesticides in excess of allowed limits and are safe for use, contamination testing includes checking for a wide range of pesticides.

Another contamination analysis covers heavy metal testing. Cannabis plants may become contaminated with heavy metals through fertilisers, water, or soil. Laboratories measure heavy metal levels to make sure they are within the safe limits established by regulatory bodies.

Additionally, laboratories test for mycotoxins and microorganisms. Cannabis plants may have bacteria, fungi, moulds, and yeast. Especially if cultivators do not follow basic procedures. Moreover, moulds can produce mycotoxins which are poisonous substances.

As solvents may be used in the extraction operations for cannabis concentrates, laboratories also do residual solvent analysis

Cannabis quality testing

Laboratories conduct various tests and analyses to evaluate the safety, purity, and general quality of cannabis and derivative products. We may call it a “quality testing” in cannabis analysis. Consumers should receive reliable information about the product they are using. 

Terpene profiling is a type of quality testing. Terpenes may be related to cannabis flavour and potential therapeutic effects. Consumers can thus make sensible choices based on their preferences and expectations by testing for terpene content.

Cannabinoid profiling is an additional example of quality testing. It is comparable to potency testing. The outcome of this analysis is cannabis product’s amounts of THC, CBD, CBG and other cannabinoids. Consumers can better comprehend the product’s substance composition and potential impacts with the help of this information.

Moisture content and shelf life tests are also a part of testing for quality.  It’s crucial to measure the moisture content to prevent mould, microbial growth, and deterioration. For the quality of the product and the safety of the user, proper drying and curing procedures are crucial. By tracking variations in potency, cannabinoid degradation, terpene loss, and the presence of contaminants over time, stability testing determines the product’s shelf life. This testing ensures the product’s quality for the length of its planned shelf life and assists in determining the product’s expiration date.

Testing in cannabis labs

Generally, recognized laboratories that specialise in cannabis analysis perform all types of testing. These labs use approved testing techniques to precisely identify and measure contaminations. Testing for contamination yields crucial data for quality control, regulatory compliance, and consumer safety, ensuring that cannabis products are free of contaminants and suitable for consumption or usage.

Testing results are often posted on product labels or made available to consumers. They enable them to make wise choices and have trust in the reliability and quality of the cannabis products they choose. 

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