Cannabis testing labs are becoming a necessity with more and more countries legalizing weed for recreational use. However, cannabis testing is very important for medical users of marijuana since they must be sure that they are not taking anything other that’s what has been prescribed to them or anything they don’t want to use.
The industry of medical cannabis needs to carry out proper cannabis testing for potency, pesticides and the chemical composition of the weed. Depending on what sort of a cannabis product is in question, the testing requirements might be different but whatever the case is, at the end if the day it must be ensured by the cannabis testing labs that the product which is placed in the market is fit to be used and meets the set criteria.
So what happens inside of a cannabis testing lab? It would’ve been fun if the scientist actually has the chance to roll one, smoke one and decide if it is good or not. But if that was really the case, everybody would want a job like that, won’t they?
Testing cannabis is actually a very demanding scientific process where the samples are tested before the batch is approved to go out on the market.
On a side note, the demand for cannabis testing went sky high after the plant was made legal in Canada and certain states in the U.S. Now, cannabis testing is mandatory, so who said weed isn’t good for the economy! Prior to this, testing wasn’t mandatory in most of the cases, so now a new set of regulations are out there to ensure quality, hence the number of cannabis testing labs is growing.
Cannabis Testing Centre in Little Rock via AMP
Here’s how things are done!
Inside of a Cannabis Testing Lab
A cannabis testing lab looks exactly how you would imagine it to look – a wide, temperature controlled space where scientist dig deep to carry out analysis. The environment in which the test are carried out obviously needs to be strictly monitored in order not to compromise the samples. The scientists, as you would imagine need to wear professional equipment when carrying out the tests in cannabis testing labs.
A sample of a batch is sent to the lab for testing and verification. Before anything else happens, the sample needs to be labelled by a unique identification number. The unique identification number is a way to track where the sample came from. This unique number, if the testing goes well will receive its label of approval and the breeder will be able to place the batch on the market. The quality of the weed might also determine the price of the weed – obviously the better the quality, the higher the price!
Cannabis Lab via Cannabis Lab Consulting
Then, it needs to be decided which part of the sample is best for analysis. To ensure an objective representative sample is what’s being analyzed, the whole sample is placed on a grid and ran through an algorithm. The algorithm then decides what part should be made a representative sample and put through the testing process. This is done in such way to eliminate the human factor and the risk of choosing a representative sample just by the outside appearance.
From here, the sample is photographed and the photos are kept in an archive in the cannabis testing lab. The representative sample gets its own brand new grinder. The grinders used for testing must always be new and sterilized in order to avoid “contamination” with chemicals from different strains of weed and ensure legitimate testing results.
The potency test which is carried out in cannabis testing labs is one of the most important tests that are going to be carried out on the sample before the batch is approved for use. Depending on the strain, different potency tests are used.
If scientist need to test the THC potency of the sample, they would need to separate the THC from the matrix.
Cannabis Potency Testing via Ohio Cannabis
To do this, they first need to weigh the sample after they grind it. The ground sample is then put into a test tube and a solvent is added to it. The solvent will separate the potency which will come floating on top. Once that is collected, it is diluted and ready for testing. The potency is placed in a vial which goes into a robotic autosampler that exposes the potency to gas or liquid in the chromatography machine.
The main testing phase in the cannabis testing lab happens in the chromatography machine. There, the entire composition of the potency sample is analyzed. So in this step of the testing, the scientists can determine the chemical composition of the potency, including the amount of THC, CBD, CBG and other elements in relation to the weight of the sample. In that way, the scientists are able to determine if the batch will be THC or CBD dominant.
Physical Contamination Testing
Clearly, it is important for cannabis testing labs to be sure that the cannabis that is about to hit the market is in no way contaminated. After the sample enters the lab, the scientists take extra precautionary measures to ensure the state of the sample is not compromised in any way during the testing. This is usually done by the scientists who are handling the samples wearing gloves. The surfaces where the sample will be placed must be sterilized and the product must never touch the floor under any circumstances.
Microbial testing is carried out in cannabis testing labs in order to determine if the sample poses a safety or health hazard. Since water is found in cannabis, this test needs to determine if there is any potential mold or mildew build up. Also, fresh weed samples are tested for different microorganisms such as E.coli, Clostridium botulinum, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa.
By doing terpene analysis, scientists are able to determine the fragrance and the flavour compound of the sample. Through this test, the flavor profile of the sample is built which is very important information for consumers.
Cannabis Testing Lab via Terpenes and Testing
Why Is Testing Important?
Apart from obviously weed testing being a mandatory requirement now, weed testing is good for everyone involved in the process starting with the manufacturers, dispensaries and consumers.
When the weed is tested, all of the results are stored on a platform called Confidential Cannabis. Information about each sample is added, including the grower, the region and the findings from the testing. They also store information such as the strains, the full molecular composition, and the concentrations.
This software is not only useful for storing the information and letting people access them but is also good for informative and analytical purposes.
By analyzing the data that comes in from different cannabis tests, trends and averages can be determined. Also, people who are after a very rare strain can use the software and find information about growers who can supply them with such a strain.
On the other hand, this is so very beneficial for the growers. Obviously, high-quality weed will go up to a good price, so growers who got positive results back which testify about the high quality of the weed can use this as a mean of increasing the price for the quality.
Dispensaries as well find this information gathered by cannabis testing labs useful since they can learn more about the strains they are selling and they can also research new strains that they might want to bring in for sale. They can also ensure that the weed they are ready selling is of good quality and in that sense keep their customers happy.
As for the customers, this cannabis testing labs process is also beneficial. Knowing what sort of weed is good, so the testing process and the results will give you a piece of mind that you are not smoking weed that has been grown with a lot of pesticides.
This data from cannabis testing labs is not only beneficial for medical marijuana users, but for recreative users as well. The legalization and the testing protocols of weed are making people able to become more informed and more aware of different strains. Instead of smoking weed just because it is weed without knowing the type of strain, now users can explore new strains, get informed, read the chemical compositions, the properties effects, and different aromas.
It seems that with weed everybody wins!
Inside of a Cannabis Testing Lab via Dope Magazine
Previous Testing Results
When smoking weed, you don’t really think what’s in it and what did it need to go through until it reached its spot on the market.
What’s good to know now is that with all of the new regulations in place, at least you don’t need to worry about smoking weed that is contaminated or contains dangerous microorganism that can do harm to your wellbeing.
Ever since the next regulations have been introduced, batches that fail the tests are not approved to go out to consumers which is genuinely a very good thing.
For example, a cannabis testing lab in California recently rejected even 20% of the samples that have been submitted for testing due to mold, E.coli and other reasons that can be harmful to the consumer.
Third Party Cannabis Testing
It is not uncommon for breeders to have their own cannabis testing labs. However, stricter regulations now require third-party testing to ensure valid and uncompromised results.
With more and more companies appearing on the market as manufacturers, it is really hard for consumers to distinguish a professional company that released high-quality and properly tested weed from companies who have just joined the market since it as expanding and they are offering weed with questionable quality and low breeding standards.
For consumers, it is important to know that whichever strain they go for is safe to use and in line with the regulations. This can be determined through testing, which is why samples that pass the tests and receive good results get their labels. These labels are a sort of a certificate to prove the quality of the weed.
That’s where third-party cannabis testing labs come into the picture. By doing so, the results of the analysis will be objective and users can be certain that the labels given out to breeders are genuine and legitimate.
Is This a Good Reason for Legalizing Marijuana for Recreational Use Everywhere?
The thing is, legal or not, people who want to consume weed will find their way around and get their hands on the plant. But with these latest developments of a large number of samples being ruled as unfit to hit the market, it is only logical to ask the question whether marijuana should be decriminalized in order to ensure a quality product for users and avoid possible hazard to their health.
Handling Weed for Testing via Merry Jane
Would you like to take a closer look at a cannabis testing lab? The following video will give you a glimpse of what a sample goes through before it gets is a label and it is marked as safe to use. After watching this, you will probably get a piece of mind knowing that the scientist in cannabis testing labs are really putting an effort into making sure that the weed that hits the market will only make you smile and relax!