The goal of testing Cannabis is to provide patients with reliable consistent and safe products.
Standards in testing cannabis have been slow going, but previous establishment of standards have been published in a few states thus far. Anderson PhD published article in 2013 Cannabis Testing Labs: Standards and Accreditation, outlined the importance of testing marijuana for medicinal use and the standardization and accreditation of theses third party labs. While Montana works to establish the standards legislation is comfortable with; guidelines from California, Wyoming, Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon have given insight on what is, important for the health of patients, to be testing for. I will quickly focus on the major testing analysis that can impact the health of a patient. Following trends in other state mandated lab requirements, testing currently will be focused on potency and chemical residue, and will add more when Montana state legislature publishes the testing standards that will be expected to be provided by producers.
Potency identifies which cannabinoids are present and isolate the strength of the sample. By analyzing the potency this can allow providers to accurately provide consumers the information needed for making educated decisions about the amount needed for their individual treatment.
Cannabinoid Characterization Profiles are important to isolate because of the potential health benefits for the patient. Certain genetic and environmental factors make certain cannabis products better for treating specific medical conditions, hundreds of cannabinoids have been isolated from cannabis and are expressed in percentage of total weight: milligrams of cannabinoid divided by milligrams of the sample. Cannabinoids act on the receptors CB1 and CB2 and can be used to enhance the already naturally occurring Endocannabinoids which are fatty acid neurotransmitters.
Residual Solvents are important to test for in highly concentrated forms of cannabis, Solvents are used in the extraction process and some of the most commonly used solvents can be hazardous for consumption, categorized into classes 1-3 Class 1 being known carcinogens, class 2 being causative of irreversible toxicity and class 3 having the lowest toxic potential. With our Gas chromatography, we will be able through calibration indicate if there are heavy metals present in samples provided, this can be an indicator of harmful pesticides that may still be resides on samples. Future expansion plans for the company include more precise instrumentation that can identify pesticides and heavy metals. Projection is that customers will eventually expect labels and seals of approval that ensure higher quality that we will provide with our logo included.
Pesticides and Herbicides can be potentially harmful when inhaled or consumed it is important to test for them especially when dealing with individuals with weaker immune systems because of the dangerous side effects that may occur which may be lethal in these types of patients. The instrument we are planning to acquire has options for additional accessories that will be able to identify pesticides and herbicides. Adding new accessories and items for analysis will be formulated based upon customer feedback and reviews as well as state mandated testing criteria as that evolves.
Microbiological Contaminants and Mycotoxin are mainly bacteria and mold species that have evolved along with the cultivation of indoor growing, if unchecked can gain a strong foothold and become hard to eradicate. Many of the mold species have been known for causing certain diseases and some are known as cancer-mycotoxins, these can put patients with immune system impairments at a higher risk of contracting some of these side effects from mycotoxin poisoning. As the microbrewery industry, has grown so has the evolution of microorganisms that can spoil microbrews, a special class of bacteria has evolved along with the industry that can be identified by our company before a outbreak occurs. An outbreak can sink a small brewery and helping provide isolation and control procedures can avoid or control an outbreak of these detrimental bacterial or wild yeasts.
Water Activity is important for testing in biological products because of the potential for growing microbiological contaminants. This is important for determining shelf life and viability of product in accordance with FDA guidelines for ensuring the highest standards. Moisture content describes the concentration of water in a sample by weight, water activity describes the likelihood that the moisture will leave the cannabis material to support growth of microbiological contaminants. Ideal range 15% moisture content and .65aw water activity.
Standards for testing facility should comply with International Organization for Standardization ISO/ 17025 meaning third party labs would meet standards like state statutory environmental, agricultural, consumer protection, and food and product safety requirements. Providing patients, the means to receive medical-grade products that are free of any harmful contaminants and that are accurately labeled for dosing. Performing these tests is the goal of Clear Brew Technologies.