Marijuana and hemp testing relies on liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) to help monitor its safety and improve product quality.
The cannabis product range is constantly evolving—including medicines, edibles, beverages, and more. However, product quality and safety standards are lagging when compared to other industries such as food and beverage or pharmaceuticals. For cannabis testers, it is a challenging situation. Regulation varies by state in the United States and even across countries. Testing labs confront inconsistent and even non-existent maximum residue limits (MRLs) as government agencies debate the legalities of marijuana and hemp consumption for recreation and medicinal purposes. This is especially important to note since crop protection agents are commonly used to increase cannabis yields and appearance.
As a cannabis testing lab, you should analyze your marijuana and hemp samples for:
- Pesticides, including insecticides, fungicides, and rodenticides
- Potency of cannabinoids including tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), cannabidiol (CBD), cannabigerol (CBG) and cannabigerol (CBN)
- Mycotoxins ( i.e., aflatoxin B1 and B2 or ochratoxin A) and mold (i.e., Fusarium or Aspergillus)
- Terpene profiling
This is where mass spectrometry plays a role in cannabis testing technology.
LC-MS/MS technology will help you optimize your marijuana and hemp testing
The Cannabis Sativa plant contains hundreds of chemical entities across a vast range of concentrations with its major compounds being THC and CBD. What’s more, the end-product form is equally complex as it can come in varying forms from edibles to essential oils. These complexities demand an analytical technique that is sensitive, selective, and specific to tackle extremely low concentrations as well as one that can reduce potential matrices inferences. You need an instrument that capable of matching all chemical residues at the lowest possible limits to analyze samples for potency, pesticides, mycotoxins and terpenes.
This is where you can rely on the power of LC-MS/MS instrumentation.