As cannabis becomes more widely accepted and available for purchase, more rules have developed to ensure its quality and contents. Like any food, drug, or similar product, cannabis is now subject to a list of requirements and stipulations that can be assessed by a well-equipped cannabis testing lab. That may sound like a new series of obstacles to overcome with cannabis sales, but it really isn’t. Here are a few of the advantages of using cannabis testing equipment.
This is the one everyone knows about, no doubt. Cannabis is tested for its potency, specifically for its THC and CBD content, as well as for how these metrics affect dosing. Metrics include the amount of cannabinoids per weight, the number of cannabinoids present, and the ratio of THC to CBD in the product. Testing ensures that the quality and potency of the product is as promised. Testing for potency can also help in determining ways to improve future crops of a particular strain
Cannabis is, of course, a plant, and unless the growing process is strictly organic, it often involves some use of fertilizers, pesticides, and other chemical agents to promote growth and discourage and kill pests. While these chemicals help the plant to thrive, any remainder can threaten the health and safety of the consumer. Several pesticides, hormones, and other products are forbidden as well and must be absent, or the product cannot be sold. Solvents may also be employed to create oil, wax, shatter, and other products from cannabis. Butane, ethanol, and xylene can be present, but only in trace amounts. Testing is necessary to ensure they remain below a certain standard.
Mold, Fungus, and Mildew
Cannabis also needs to be tested for harmful living contaminants, such as bacteria, molds, fungus, and mildew, which can all produce mycotoxins that can be harmful to consumers’ health. Microbes can be pathogenic and can cause allergic reactions or even cancer, while bacteria can infect cannabis with salmonella, E. Coli, and more. Immunocompromised individuals using cannabis for medical conditions are especially at risk if the cannabis contains such contaminants. Contaminants can turn up in cannabis through cultivation, handling, and packaging, and testing is needed at some point to ensure that contamination has not occurred.
Besides pesticides, hormones, solvents, and microbes, cannabis can be contaminated by other things, such as heavy metals like mercury, cadmium, or lead, which can leach into the plant from the ground. The product can also be contaminated by everyday unclean things such as hair, dust, dirt, and feces when it’s handled during cultivation or packaging. Again, cannabis testing can detect and alert the analysts of the presence of these and other miscellaneous contaminants that can cause harm to consumers.
Terpenes are the chemical compounds that give cannabis and other plants their unique smells and flavors. They’re also believed to have some effect on the medicinal benefits of cannabis. Testing determines the kinds of terpenes contained in a sample, their pharmacological applications, and the proper strain for specific symptoms and conditions. Testing terpenes can also prevent similar strains from being falsely labeled and sold under different brand names. In general, it also aids in assessing the safety levels of the strain when intended for consumption by medical patients.
Testing Keeps Your Business Safe, Too
When you test your products with your own cannabis testing equipment, you’re not only testing for chemical content, but also for safety. You’re also testing to protect your business. Before sending a sample to a third-party lab for analysis and certification, you can ensure the strain is up to snuff with on-site equipment. It shows diligence on your end and is an effective way of ensuring you’re receiving a fair, precise, and accurate assessment. You’ll save time and money as well by making sure the strain you send out is from your best batch. Testing is also a method for gauging whether your processes, materials, seeds, and equipment are adequate—if not exceptional—and helps you adjust your approach as you go along.
Following the Rules
Cannabis is legal in more places, but that doesn’t mean that anything goes. As mentioned above, testing is required to ensure the quality, potency, and safety of a crop. Testing on-site can keep you on top of regulations and help you avoid any potential issues or violations. Staying compliant means not losing time, money, and freedom. If you break the rules, even unintentionally, you run the risk of fines, destruction of your crop, and even losing your license. When you test your product before sending it out to the lab, you can prevent issues that can lead to the above circumstances.
Improvement Means Profits
A business is a business, and every business needs to adjust and grow to survive. Testing allows you to maintain quality control and adjust growing conditions to produce strains favored by your client base. You can predict how much you’ll need to grow, as well as what types of plants and what levels of potency meet your clientele’s tastes and needs. It doesn’t matter if you make widgets or grow sativa, indica, or hybrid strains, you need to test and tweak your product to ensure profits and loyal customers.
Testing Provides Credibility
Outside of its medical applications, cannabis use is, and is largely perceived as, a recreational pursuit. But just like the film and television, hotel, amusement park, and other entertainment industries, even though people are enjoying themselves, that doesn’t mean cannabis products and production isn’t a serious business. Testing shows that cannabis growers and sellers care enough to provide a worthwhile and safe product, and the science involved adds gravitas to the industry at large. Cannabis production and sales are seeking to establish a reputation as a respectable industry, leaving the days of seedy dealers selling plastic baggies of product of uncertain or dubious quality behind. As such, testing adds further credibility to your products!
Those are some of the advantages of using cannabis testing equipment. If you have any questions about our testing equipment and how it can be used to improve your facility, contact us today!