External testing laboratories ensure the quality of cannabis. They examine if hemp and cannabis products on the market are appropriately labeled and free of harmful toxins.
However, how do laboratories test themselves?
To begin with, if you want to trust third-party cannabis testing labs, make sure they have EN ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. The majority of testing and calibration laboratories comply with this ISO standard. The ISO/IEC 17025 standard, which certifies a testing laboratory’s technical competence, is used in the majority of the countries.
Regular competency verification is necessary for ISO 17025 accreditation. Testing laboratories can guarantee it, for example, by collaborating with independent regulatory labs. These are essential in making sure that third-party labs’ routine analytical procedures are reliable. They also manage various inter-laboratory comparability tests. It is a component of a program for laboratory quality control. With the help of this tool, cannabis testing labs can show off their skills and identify necessary improvements for their measures.
Additionally, a lab could choose to take part in a proficiency testing (PT) program. A proficiency test includes the attendance of a reference laboratory and uses their results to assess participant performance. Maintaining ISO 17025 accreditation requires participation in PT. Of course, based on the PT market’s samples that are currently available.
Inter-laboratory comparisons and PT are only two examples of requirements for testing laboratories. As stated previously, ISO 17025 testing laboratories have to meet numerous requirements to keep their accreditation, also within the cannabis industry.
Are we safe with cannabis testing laboratories?
Increased interest in hemp and cannabis has led to an increase in industry-specific testing facilities. Thus, in the cannabis and hemp market, high-level quality assurance in labs is becoming the norm.
As noted above, ISO 17025 serves as a competency guarantee for cannabis testing laboratories. Additionally, they must fulfill a number of standards, including proficiency tests and/or lab comparison programs, in order to be accredited. They are becoming ever more significant for the cannabis and hemp industry. Testing laboratories for cannabis frequently determine their bottlenecks. There are already existing reputable cannabis testing laboratories in Europe. Some of them are:
Bulgaria: TESTING CENTER GLOBALTEST
Spain: FUNDACION CANNA