Fast, Accurate, and Robust Solution for Routine Commercial Cannabis Testing
As the world debates cannabis legalization for therapeutic applications and recreational use, we are starting to witness a shift in trends. Medicinal use of cannabis is legal in an increasing number of countries worldwide, including 29 states in America. Uruguay was the first country in the world to legalize the sale, cultivation, and distribution of cannabis in 2013, and in the United States, Washington and Colorado were the first to legalize in 2012 fully. Nine states have now legalized recreational use for adults over the age of 21, with 64% of Americans favoring the move.
In the past, cannabis agriculture has been completely unregulated driven by unlawful dispensaries. However, with legalization, this industry is rapidly blooming, and while the trend is celebrated by campaigners worldwide, concerns around public safety are increasingly documented. For one thing, not all cannabis that hit the shelves may be truly safe as it can be laced with contaminants that may not be safe consumption.
Cannabis Testing for Safety and Potency
While cannabis needs to be tested for potency, it can also contain a variety of potentially dangerous chemicals or bacteria such as microbial, mold, mycotoxins, metals, and solvents which can be harmful to human beings. The most controversial issue, the amount of pesticide residues present in cannabis samples. It is a major concern as the potential toxicity of such residues pose unknown health risks.
With public safety a primary concern for regulators it comes as no surprise that regulators are clamping down on dispensaries. With legalization defined by each state, there is varying legislation indicating what needs to be monitored and at what levels, specifying action limits or acceptable maximum residual levels (MRLs) that must not be exceeded. Screening has become a prerequisite, and cannabis testing labs are feeling the strain.
- The first challenge is supply and demand – there simply aren’t enough labs to keep up with the volume of samples. Labs need to increase throughput with a fast and reliable analytical technique using a single instrument capable of matching all chemical resides to the lowest possible limit.
- Secondly, cannabis testing is intrinsically complex – labs are faced with quantifying many residues with dirty matrices as well as sample variation, since cannabis can be ingested by mouth, topically or inhalation. Labs need rugged instrumentation to manage a complex workflow with solid application support from the instrument vendor.
- Finally, labs face inconsistent maximum residue limits – so they require a pre-defined compound list for targeted analysis that aligns with legislation action limits or acceptable maximum residual levels. Labs also need access to the techniques that will enable them to perform the required targeted analysis.
Labs Need a Robust Method for Routine Commercial Analysis
High-performance liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) has emerged as the method of choice for pesticide analysis, solving all the challenges outlined above. It offers superior selectivity, sensitivity, and ruggedness and does not require extensive sample preparation before analysis; allowing you to match all chemical residues to the lower possible limit, within a single instrument.
To help your lab get ahead in the complexity of new regulations, we have put together an exclusive free cannabis testing info kit packed with useful information, including methods and solutions to common screening challenges. Download the info kit today and take the first step towards fast, accurate and compliant cannabis testing.