The rise of medicinal and recreational marijuana has mostly come from the marijuana testing industry. What does cannabis need to be lab tested for? We answer that question and more below.
One of the primary purposes of cannabis testing is to determine its potency. HPLC is used in cannabis and CBD potency testing to identify and quantify the cannabinoids in the marijuana plant.
Cannabinoids are a group of substances in the cannabis plant, and the main compound that determines its potency is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). This compound gives cannabis its psychoactive effects. Since cannabis strains are influenced by their growing environment, some can have higher levels of THC than others, so potency testing is critical for accurately labeling cannabis products.
Pesticides & Mycotoxins
With the growth of medicinal and recreational marijuana in the US, cannabis is increasingly grown on commercial farms using similar techniques to mass-produced fruits and vegetables, including fertilizers and chemicals. Harmful contaminants that cannabis needs to be lab tested for include pesticides and mycotoxins.
Pesticides are frequently used in commercial produce cultivation to keep pests away and ensure the produce grows healthy and strong. However, pesticides are harmful to humans, so produce must be tested before reaching the market to ensure they’re pesticide-free or have a minor, safe amount of chemicals. Mycotoxins are another common worry of commercial growers, as fungus can quickly spread through produce and harm people if consumed.
Heavy metals are harmful contaminants for cannabis users. Like any other plant that grows from the earth, cannabis can absorb heavy metals from the soil, water, or air. Some metals include the following:
A substantial amount of any of these heavy metals in a cannabis flower could cause significant health problems in users. Before a plant is cleared for safe human consumption, it must be lab tested and given a clean bill of health free of heavy metals.
There are many health considerations for testing cannabis before consumption. These health dangers should encourage you to purchase medicinal or recreational marijuana from only regulated cultivators with accredited testing labs for user safety.