Everyone wants to feel safe when choosing a product. With the growing legalization of adult recreational and medical cannabis/hemp, comprehensive and reliable analytical testing is required to ensure consumer safety. Cannabinoids, terpenes, residual solvents, pesticides, heavy metals, and microbes are only some substances in cannabis/hemp that must be heavily tested, but unfortunately, with the lack of cross-state regulations, poorly tested products often slip through.
While most states have enacted personal cannabis/hemp laws, the truth is that not all testing labs are made equal, and consumers wind up having to endure the repercussions when they get the results wrong. These errors are unintentional, but at other times they are overlooked, disregarded, or deliberately recorded wrong because they benefit the product seller. That doesn’t make these laboratories’ acts any less harmful.
Because there is significant profit to be had from unregulated or untested cannabis/hemp products, this can lead to harmful conditions for the consumer.
THC, CBD, and CBN are the most common cannabinoids tested for potency. CBN is a breakdown product of THC that indicates the degeneration of cannabis/hemp owing to age or poor storage conditions. High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) with UV detection and gas chromatography (GC) with flame ionization detection are the two most used methods for potency analysis (FID). However, when these tests aren’t done correctly, higher potency cannabis/hemp can slip through and cause harmful reactions to those unaware of its strength.
Additionally, solvents such as butane, propane, isopropanol, or acetone are frequently used to extract cannabis/hemp to produce components in oils, edibles, and other products. Because these solvents are hazardous to one’s health, they should not be found in the finalized product. Poor testing can allow these substances to remain and be sold unknowingly, creating a significant health hazard for those ingesting cannabis/hemp merchandise.
Pesticides and fungicides are unlawful for cannabis/hemp farmers to employ to manage pests and mold, which flourish in the warm, wet indoor conditions needed to grow cannabis/hemp unless the manufacturer’s label specifies otherwise. There are currently no insecticides on the market that include cannabis/hemp on the title, leaving some producers in a difficult predicament. They may choose to disobey the law and employ prohibited substances to salvage their harvest. If a lab refuses to test for this or falsifies the information, the consumer may be unknowingly swallowing harmful substances along with their cannabis/hemp.
Labs should also test cannabis/hemp for microorganisms like mold, mildew, bacteria, and yeast that can contaminate cannabis/hemp plants during growth or storage. Bacterial pathogens like E. coli and Salmonella, and fungal toxins can cause severe sickness, especially in children and vulnerable people who use medical cannabis/hemp. However, since there are so many microorganisms and pathogens to test for, it is often easier and cheaper for labs to only test for the basics, lowering the overall quality of cannabis/hemp testing.
It’s a terrible but straightforward fact that there’s a nationwide pandemic of low-quality laboratories producing low-quality results that consumers rely on to determine whether or not a product is safe. It’s not all doom and gloom, though. cannabis/hemp is a valuable medicine, and most manufacturers, dispensaries, and testing labs are concerned with its quality. Every honest player in the cannabis/hemp sector must continue to raise the bar on standards for consumers and patients to feel comfortable.
Abundant Labs is proud to work with growers directly to secure unique biomass that serves the needs of CBD users and product developers nationwide. Don’t hesitate to contact us or visit our website for more on our practices, techniques, and material acquisition process. We are always looking for inventive plants that produce superior quality distillate.