What is potency testing and why does it matter?
Potency testing informs patients about the concentration of active cannabinoids in their medicine. Researchers have identified over 70 cannabinoid compounds, many of which possess distinct medicinal benefits. While THC is the most well-known cannabinoid, it is only responsible for a fraction of cannabis’ medicinal benefits. For this reason, we also test for CBD, CBDA, CBN, and THCA.
As is the case with any pharmaceutical product, the active ingredients in cannabis should be clearly labeled. Cannabinoid profiling allows doctors to determine accurate dosage, ensures that providers can verify the quality of their products, and helps patients to select the right treatment for their symptoms. Researchers continue to make groundbreaking discoveries about the medical benefits of cannabinoids, but these revelations can only be harnessed when consumers, providers, and healthcare practitioners possess reliable data on the contents of their medicine.
What role does terpene analysis play in identifying effective medicine?
Terpene analysis is beneficial for patients, providers, and breeders alike. Understanding terpenes is essential to helping patients identify the right strain for their symptoms. Terpene analysis allows cannabis collectives to customize treatment programs for their clients and optimize a strain’s pharmacological effects. Through understanding terpenes, breeders can selectively modulate the terpene ratios of their strains, in order to maximize desired benefits. Check out our terpenes education page to learn about the most commonly found terpenes in cannabis, and their effects.
What are the benefits of screening cannabis medicine for pesticides?
Pesticide testing can detect trace amounts of chemical pesticides in dried flowers and cannabis concentrates. Ingesting pesticides can be dangerous, even at the smallest doses. Yet the FDA has not determined safe levels for any insecticide or fungicide in cannabis. Although many marijuana cultivators practice organic farming, others continue to use illegal or banned pesticides on their crops. Our reason for participating in pesticide screening comes from our belief that patients deserve contaminant-free medicine.
Why is microbiological screening important?
The same conditions that are ideal for the cultivation of medical cannabis can also be ideal for the germination of microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi. If your cannabis is not properly tested, the medicine you are consuming can be contaminated with a variety of harmful pathogens and for many patients ingesting contaminated medicine can lead to illness and health complications. Laboratories using specific techniques can identify and detect these potential contaminants, giving us a healthier cannabis medicine.
What is residual solvent testing?
A Residual Solvent Test (RST) is used to identify the presence of harmful solvents, impurities, and/or other chemicals present in super-concentrated forms of cannabis (i.e wax, oil, shatter, crumble, etc.) These types of concentrates are produced by using a solvent (such as butane, CO2, ethanol, propane, etc.) to extract cannabinoids and terpenoids from plant-material. Finally, heat, vacuum, and/or other methods are applied to purge out any remaining solvent from the concentrate.
By testing for Residual Solvents, we are able to verify that the producer has used a high-quality solvent, free of impurities and toxic odorants, but has also followed a proper purging process. More importantly, chemical residues can have a significant impact on the health of a patient, especially over time and with repeated exposure. Our community must self-regulate to ensure that patients are receiving the highest of quality, solvent-free concentrates possible.
Information Courtesy of SC Laboratories. For more information, visit www.sclabs.com