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Starting a cannabis lab can be daunting. But with more states legalizing cannabis for medicinal and recreational use, cannabis testing remains a growing industry. If you’re thinking of starting a cannabis lab, learn the key instruments and equipment you’ll need below.

High-Performance Liquid Chromatography

When selling cannabis products commercially, the buyer must understand the potency of the cannabis. Every cannabis seller and lab must test cannabis for potency to create a clear and accurate label for buyers.

The potency of cannabis is determined by its cannabinoids, also known as its strain. High-performance liquid chromatography is the preferred method for cannabis potency testing. It is an accurate and affordable technique for labs.

Mass Spectrometry

Another aspect of cannabis testing crucial for growers and sellers is the presence of heavy metals. Arsenic, lead, and mercury are heavy metals found in soils and fertilizers around the country. Therefore cannabis plants absorb them.

These metals are toxic to humans, which is why many states require stringent testing and proof of cannabis samples free of toxic heavy metals. Researchers favor the inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry method to identify and quantify heavy metal elements in cannabis.

Gas Chromatography With Headspace Autosampler

One of the results of more widely available cannabis products in the US is the growing popularity of concentrated cannabis and CBD, like oils and waxes. These concentrates are created by extracting the cannabinoids and terpenoids from cannabis using solvents like:

  • Acetone
  • Butane
  • Ethanol
  • Hexane
  • Isopropanol
  • Propane
  • Pentane

Naturally, nobody wants to consume products with such toxic chemicals in them! To ensure the safe consumption of cannabis concentrates, scientists use gas chromatography with a headspace autosampler for a quick and accurate measurement of potential residual solvents.

Gas Chromatography With Mass Spectrometry

People also use gas chromatography in cannabis is with pesticides. Along with heavy metals, pesticides are a major concern for cannabis growers. Pesticides protect plants from bugs but can also be toxic to humans if consumed.

There’s more variety in the preferred testing methods for pesticides, but most prefer gas or liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry. Both can accurately test for pesticides in cannabis, but most prefer gas chromatography due to its higher sensitivity and faster analysis.

Now you know some of the key equipment you need to start a cannabis lab! At GenTech Scientific, we have refurbished cannabis lab equipment and start-up packages that get you the instruments you need at an affordable price.

Contact our expert staff to learn more about our cannabis equipment and the benefits of buying refurbished instruments.