Images Analysis by GemmaCert of Trichome Spread in Cannabis Flowers

Near Infrared Spectroscopy for Cannabis and Hemp Potency Testing

Near Infrared Spectroscopy for Cannabis and Hemp Potency Testing

Near InfraRed (NIR) spectroscopy is an analytical technique using near-infrared radiation emissions to analyze samples for compositional or characteristic traits. The technology was commercialized back in the 1970s and since then has become popular for the analysis of food, agricultural, pharmaceutical, and chemical products. Both the FDA and European Medicines Agency have published guidelines for the use of NIR spectroscopy by the pharmaceutical industry.

NIR spectroscopy is a sensible solution for in-house testing. It allows for performing a fast and non-destructive test, with the possibility of reagent free analysis that provides useful information requiring minimal or no sample preparation. Unsurprisingly, it is a widely used forensic tool by law enforcement agencies for analyzing samples in the field without evidence tampering or destruction.

Cannabis professionals must adopt In-House Testing protocols in order to make the right business decisions, from determining the optimal harvest time to making sure they do not overpay for biomass. NIR spectroscopy is ideal for this because it is easy-to-use, affordable, fast, accurate, and has a proven track-record. No wonder the FDA demonstrates its use for Real Time Release Testing in the pharmaceutical industry.

It is only a matter of time before In-House Testing becomes common practice across the cannabis and hemp supply chains and along with it NIR spectroscopy will be one of the main analytical techniques used.

No Two Cannabis Flowers are the Same and Trichomes are Not Spread Equal

Image analysis by GemmaCert of trichome spread (in yellow)

Selecting an NIR spectroscopy solution:

Before investing in a NIR spectroscopy solution for your cannabis or hemp business make sure:

  1. It can handle the natural variance of cannabis samples. Any solution limited to one reading on the sample surface is as good as guessing. The result you get may only be accurate for the specific point scanned rather than being representative for the entire sample.
  2. Finally, make sure the solution is truly non-destructive. Grinding a sample destroys sample efficacy and value.
  3. To make life easier and less costly, opt for a NIR solution with automated calibration, instead of paying for an external calibration service every few hundred tests.
  4. The solution improves over time with over-the-air updates as the reference database grows and the analytical algorithms improve.
  5. The reference database was collected at an ISO 17025 certified cannabis testing laboratory using High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).
  6. The reference database applied consists of tens of thousands, not hundreds, of datasets from samples collected worldwide.
  7. If you are a hemp grower, make sure the solution can test at least as low as the legal threshold of 0.3% for Total THC.

Near-infrared spectroscopy FAQ

What else would you like to learn about NIR spectroscopy in regards to cannabis testing?

What is near-infrared light?

Defined as the wavelength spectrum between 700nm and 2500nm, near-infrared light is highly useful for diagnostic purposes, and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) devices are commonly used in food testing, agricultural, and biomedical applications.

What does near-infrared light do?

Near-infrared light doesn’t do much that’s interesting from the perspective of day-to-day human life. Used in the field of spectroscopy, however, the near-infrared spectrum becomes a goldmine of data on physical samples that would otherwise be very difficult to gather.

What is near-infrared technology?

Near-infrared spectroscopy is an imaging innovation that uses the near-infrared light spectrum to render usable data on physical samples. Applied in the world of cannabis, NIRS devices allow fast and accurate analysis of the components of a cannabis sample.

In a 2018 study examining the utility of NIRS as a quality control tool in the cannabis industry, scientists concluded that this “new analytical method would allow a simpler, more robust and precise estimation.” As a cutting-edge technology, NIRS has not been widely adopted in the cannabis industry at this point, but it’s the core innovation at the heart of in-house cannabis testing devices like the GemmaCert Pro.

What is an NIR cannabinoid tester?

An NIR cannabinoid tester is a laboratory analytics device that uses the near-infrared light spectrum to provide cannabinoid concentration data for cannabis samples. As one of the most-sought-after types of cannabis sample data, rendering accurate cannabinoid concentration information is one type of analytic function an NIR spectroscopy device can provide.

Cannabinoid concentration information is far from the only kind of data an NIR device can provide regarding a cannabis sample, however. This innovative testing technology can also determine terpene concentration and detect the presence of common contaminants. Compared to gas-chromatography cannabinoid testers, NIR testers are much faster and more compact.

What is the NIR technique?

The “NIR technique” is the process of using near-infrared technology to render usable data on a physical sample. Rather than being a technique, however, near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a technology that can be packaged into a variety of in-house and handheld analytics devices. As one of the fastest and most efficient analytics technologies developed to date, NIRS testing devices like the GemmaCert pro are empowering average cannabis producers to test their own products quickly and accurately.

What is NIR spectroscopy, and how does it work?

NIR spectroscopy is the process of using the near-infrared light spectrum to render usable data on a physical sample. This type of sensory analysis provides compositional and functional information on ingredients, and it is considered to be the gold standard of testing by many international regulatory agencies.

In addition to providing information on the cannabinoid and terpene content in cannabis samples, NIR can also provide data regarding moisture content and the presence of microbial contaminants. A true all-in-one testing technology, NIR spectroscopy devices like the GemmaCert Pro also benefit from their small, portable design.

What does near-infrared spectroscopy do?

An NIR spectrometer measures molecular vibrations, specifically the asymmetric vibrations that appear with greatest intensity in near-infrared frequencies. The device generates a beam of light, which strikes a prism-like diffraction grating that captures light radiation in the near-infrared spectrum.

This light then strikes the sample, at which point the spectrometer records information on its absorbance and transmittance. Instead of leaving the user to wade through this highly technical raw data, modern NIR spectrometers render it into readable, user-friendly reports.

How is near-infrared spectroscopy used?

NIR testing equipment is used in a variety of different economic sectors. Considered to be a reliable, accurate form of testing around the world, NIR spectroscopy can be useful in any of the following applications:

  • Tissue testing
  • Soil testing
  • Sugarcane analysis
  • Biodiesel production
  • Raw materials identification

Of course, NIRS is also ideal for on-site, rapid testing within the cannabis industry. Quick, reliable analytics are vital during both cannabis cultivation and final product formulation, and NIRS is much more versatile and easier to deploy than gas chromatography testing equipment.

Why is NIRS important?

Near-infrared spectroscopy represents the next major leap forward in sample analysis. Providing rapid, accurate data on chemical constituents, moisture content, and other vital parameters, NIRS technology utilizes reflected light, eliminating the need for time-consuming sample preparation.

As a result, NIRS is considered “non-destructive,” an important factor to consider with a delicate sample material like cannabis flower. NIRS devices are also so much smaller than other forms of testing equipment that any serious comparison is impossible. With immense advantages and no discernible downsides, it’s no wonder NIRS testing has become so popular within the cannabis industry and beyond.

How do you use NIRS?

Every near-infrared spectroscopy device works slightly differently. In most cases, however, NIRS devices are relatively user-friendly and feature simple sample chambers and USB or Bluetooth connectivity.

Featuring advanced image and motion mechanics analysis, the GemmaCert Pro features a simple, intuitive user interface accessible instantly by Bluetooth technology. With comprehensive user support, learning how to use NIRS technology with the GemmaCert Pro is a stress-free and rewarding experience.

What is the difference between near and far-infrared waves?

Near-infrared and far-infrared light are both sections of the infrared light spectrum, but they behave differently and are found at opposite extremes of the infrared light domain. Far-infrared light is so far outside the realm of human sight that it verges on the microwave spectrum, but near-infrared light is so near visible light that we can almost see it.

Is near-infrared infrared?

While the near-infrared section of the light spectrum may technically lie within the infrared domain, the distinction between these types of light isn’t in name only. Near-infrared light behaves quite differently from light that’s found further along within the infrared spectrum, making it useful for specialized applications like spectroscopy.

Is near-infrared light visible?

Near-infrared is the closest part of the infrared light section to visible light, but it’s defined as beginning at the exact point that the human eye’s ability to detect light ends. As a result, near-infrared light is just as invisible to people as infrared light regardless of its closeness to visible light within the EM radiation spectrum.

Is near-infrared harmful?

Prolonged exposure to direct near-infrared light can cause certain health conditions like cataracts. Near-infrared testing devices do not expose operators to harmful illumination, however, and they are widely regarded as safe to use within their intended parameters.

CBG Survey Shows the Compound’s Beneficial Effects

As the cannabis industry begins to shift its focus to the compounds in cannabis other than the ever-popular THC and CBD, scientists have begun to investigate the potential benefits they have to offer. Cannabigerol, or CBG, is one of these lesser-known compounds of cannabis and has recently risen to public prominence. While we’ve discussed its components and some of its benefits before, a recent study reveals findings that have taken the industry by a storm.

Medical Cannabis and CBG

Long-time cannabis users and scientists alike will swear by the medical benefits of the plant. But the effects each compound has individually are still largely inconclusive. Nevertheless, CBG, in particular, has a reputation for producing powerful therapeutic results with few side effects, and the recent study published in the Journal Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research confirms these conjectures.

What Is CBG and What Does It Do?

CBG is a compound that acts as a precursor to the better-known psychoactive compounds THC and CBD. It naturally occurs in the cannabis plant, but it is generally only found in minute concentrations. As its benefits continue to gain recognition, cultivators are working on developing strains of the crop that contain higher concentrations of CBG. Although cannabis users have long recognized beneficial effects of CBG noticed after consuming cannabis, scientists were less eager to attribute specific benefits to specific compounds- until now.

The Study That Changed CBG’s Image

The study was led by researchers affiliated with Washington State University and the University of California in Los Angeles. The research team surveyed a group of subjects who claimed to be consumers of cannabis products containing high concentrations of CBG. Most of the survey participants claimed only to use these products for medical purposes.

Respondents’ most common reasons for turning to medical cannabis as a solution were for help managing or reducing anxiety symptoms, chronic pain, depression, and insomnia. A majority of respondents reported the cannabis treatment led to their symptoms becoming either “much improved” or “very much improved” after being treated with high-CBG cannabis products. Three-quarters of respondents went as far as to rate CBG treatment as “superior” to their experiences with conventional medicine.

Conclusion and Effects of the Study

As the first survey ever conducted to document the self-reported effectiveness in CBG focused cannabis treatment, the study can potentially transform the industry’s view of “minor” cannabis compounds. Despite being found in minuscule quantities, CBG has significant effects, as demonstrated by the study.

In addition to its own unique benefits, CBG lacks many of the drawbacks that cause patients to be wary of using other compounds such as THC or CBD for treatment. For example, CBG does not have the psychoactive effects of other compounds such as THC and CBD. Additionally, patients reported few to no negligible effects upon concluding treatment and stopping their consumption of the product. The study is the first step into further scientific investigation that could lead to new discoveries of CBG and other rare compounds’ therapeutic effects and medicinal potential.

Poison bottle with skull and crossbones

The Dangers of Synthetic THC

Synthetic cannabinoids, also known as synthetic marijuana, spice, and K2, are synthetically engineered chemicals made to mimic the effects of marijuana. There is, however, one very critical difference – unlike plant-based, natural marijuana, synthetic cannabinoids can lead to hazardous side effects, and in some cases, they can even be toxic.

Some of the severe side-effects linked to the use of synthetic cannabinoids include:

  • Tachycardia or rapid heart rate
  • Agitation
  • Vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Hallucinations

Poison bottle with skull and crossbonesOne case involved 130 New Yorkers being hospitalized after experiencing severe adverse symptoms caused using K2. This is barely the tip of the iceberg compared to over 8,000 emergency room visits reportedly caused by the drug in New York City between 2015 and 2016, despite the drug being declared illegal in 2012.

The chemical has even been linked to several deaths, leading the CDC to warn against the drug on their website, advising people to avoid it and call for emergency assistance immediately if they have taken it.

study performed by Dutch researchers seems to confirm this severe view of synthetic cannabinoids. The study tested the effects of recreational synthetic cannabinoids and found that the active ingredients were far more dangerous than those found in natural cannabis products.

The study found that participants were left with an increased heart rate and performed poorly on motor skill and cognitive assessments. Additionally, participants showed more significant levels of impaired cognitive tracking, confusion, and memory loss and experienced an impaired sense of reality and identity.

The reasons posited for this is that while THC found in natural cannabis affects the brain’s same receptors, synthetic cannabinoids bind more strongly to these receptors and therefore cause a more potent reaction.

While many people may feel this has nothing to do with them, as they only use natural cannabis products, a Dutch organization that monitors and educates on drug use has recently reported finding natural cannabis products laced with synthetic chemicals.

Unfortunately, this puts even natural cannabis users at risk of experiencing the dangerous side-effects of synthetic products. It is almost impossible to tell whether synthetic chemicals have been added to the product. The only way to know for certain is by testing the product yourself.

Lab testers often don’t test for synthetic chemicals, so the safest route is to go for in-house testing. While this does not provide a 100% guarantee, it is your responsibility to minimize your customers’ risks and provide them with a quality product.

Canopy Growth And The Need For In-House Testing

Canada’s leading cannabis product producer, Canopy Growth, was embroiled in a media scandal recently. Canopy Growth was reported to Health Canada’s Cannabis Compliance Directorate by a rival cannabis producer and accused of mislabeling products.

The cannabis producer was accused of falsifying the THC levels in their products after 18 different batches of products were labeled as having a flat 20% THC potency rate. The statistical likelihood of so many batches of cannabis products containing identical 20% THC rates is extremely low.

Cultivation of cannabis. A hand in a white rubber glove holds a sheet of marijuana.

Cannabis in Canada

For Canadian cannabis consumers, the most significant incentive for purchasing a cannabis product other than price is potency. The minimum perfect potency preferred by Canadian consumers is 20%, meaning that growers aim to get their plants to achieve potency levels of at least 20%.

Currently, Canada’s licensed producers have over one billion grams of cannabis product held in storage due to low quality or insufficient potency. Over US$8 billion worth of products have been discarded for lack of quality and low THC level.

Each batch of product is required by Canadian law to be labeled accurate THC and CBD percentages. However, the cannabis regulations in Canadian law do not set THC or CBD variability limits for dried flower products. There are standards for the labeling of the potency of edibles and extracts. Health Canada claims that this is due to the potency levels of different parts of the plant and different batches having variations of potency levels.

Canopy Growth’s Response

Canopy Growth’s spokesperson released a statement claiming that only strains that meet the potency standards set for that particular product will be sold. Products are expected to meet this potency threshold after being tested by independent, third-party labs and in-house. In short, Canopy Growth state that they will only release products onto the market once they have met the company’s standard for potency in both an in-house test and a test performed in a third-party lab.

The Need for In-house Cannabis Testing

Canopy Growth’s claims that their product has met the standards of in-house and independent testing and doubts presented by the statistical unlikelihood of so many batches achieving the minimum ideal threshold for cannabis potency illustrates the benefits of in-house testing.

Canopy Growth has adopted in-house testing in an effort to maintain a high standard of quality on their products and ensure that the best batches reach their consumers. Additionally, turning to in-house testing minimizes the risk of errors or failing to comply with potency regulations and minimizing wastage by determining potency levels early in the growing and production process.

Marijuana plant leaf

The Evolution of the Cannabis Industry

In 1996, the modern-day cannabis industry was forever changed when medical cannabis was legalized in California. In the years that followed, cannabis legalization became a global phenomenon and spread to other countries and continents. Today, over 50 countries have legal cannabis programs and 6 countries have also legalized use for adults.

Marijuana plant leaf

Era 1: The Infancy Years

During this period (1996-2018), many industry players were driven by a passion for cannabis and its therapeutic benefits which were widely based on anecdotal evidence. Unfortunately, these industry forerunners were generally ill equipped to handle high growth businesses and were focused on secrecy, in addition to having little to no understanding of the need for regulatory compliance.

Investors lacked the necessary knowledge to perform effective due diligence. Additionally, they failed to understand that as with most mainstream agricultural crops, the cannabis flower would inevitably turn into just another commodity.

Era 2: The Adolescence Years

The era we are currently in began in 2019. This era has been defined by increasing regulatory oversight, intensified competition, and continuous product development. This has been overshadowed by short-term opportunists and market speculators entering the market. Capital access has played a significant role in a company’s abilities to grow and become a competitor in the market, and flower prices drop as a result of competition and oversupply. Venture capital and private equity groups with at best limited expertise in the cannabis industry are backing large-scale operations.

However smart investors are on the lookout for new ventures to add true value to the market, in particular in technology-driven companies which service the industry. These technology companies can ride the upward trajectory of the product and have higher profitability than cultivation-based operations. In the words of Mark Twain: “During a gold rush, it’s a good time to be in the picks and shovels business.”

This era is likely to continue until cannabis is legalized on a federal level in the United States, which could happen during the first term of the Biden Administration, although nothing is guaranteed.

Era 3: Full Maturity

Once cannabis becomes legalized at a federal level, the industry will enter the era of full maturity, which will be defined by the wide legalization of cannabis for adult use. Therapeutic/well-being uses will likely be supported by new scientific evidence, and a new wave of pharmaceutical drugs may enter the market after years of research and clinical trials.

International trade will be facilitated and corporations will be the major players of the industry, as is the case in the pharmaceutical and food industries. Playing a major role in supporting the industry’s capital needs will be professional institutional investors, and cannabis will become just another commodity.

Maximizing yield will become a focus and economies of scale will be critical. Focus will also be shifted to cannabis quality assurance and an increase in productivity and throughput, and more value will be placed on brands.

GemmaCert Product Line

NBA Freezes Cannabis Testing for the 2020-21 Season: What About the Next One?

The NBA recently announced their decision to no longer test players for cannabis use during the 2020-2021 seasons. Previously, the NBA has waived the need for drug testing due to the need to limit contact with players during the pandemic, while trying to manage the already complex rules set in place for the shortened season. The announcement that the NBA would once again skip testing for cannabis use may hint at significant changes in the future of sports and drug testing.

Basketball and hoop

Players and Pain Management

Cannabis is already well known for its medical benefits and its ability to help people treat chronic pain, and NBA players are supposedly no different, reportedly using cannabis for pain management and to counter inflammation. Despite the heavy penalties previously given for cannabis use by the NBA, it is estimated that 50%-80% of players have used cannabis to treat the health conditions mentioned above. Additionally, while cannabis is a drug, is far from a performance-enhancing one, and does not give an added advantage to athletes who use it compared to any other painkiller.

One NBA veteran pushing for greater acceptance of cannabis in the world’s leading basketball league is Al Harington. Harington had used CBD in 2012 while rehabilitating a knee damaged by multiple botched surgeries. Since then, not only has the former basketballer become a vocal advocate for medical cannabis, he has also started a company to produce and market medicinal and recreational cannabis products

What the Industry Can Do to Further Cannabis Acceptance in Sports

To make medical cannabis less stigmatized and to allow the NBA, as well as other sports leagues, to adopt long-term pro-cannabis policies, scientific research into treatment safety and efficacy must be promoted by the cannabis industry.

Until December of 2018, the federal government classified CBD as a “Schedule I” substance, making performing studies of it extremely complicated. While studies done on animals or in conjunction with other active substances found in cannabis, such as THC, do exist, it is difficult to draw any conclusive evidence from them that CBD alone can be used to treat pain in humans.

In order for medical cannabis use to gain further acceptance in sports, the cannabis industry must take matters into its own hands. Industry leaders must undertake the responsibility of performing or at least encouraging high quality, long-term tests performed on humans, from which conclusive results can then be drawn from. Unfortunately, there currently seems to be no shortcut for making cannabis a mainstream therapeutic treatment in the 21st century.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

THC Limit for Hemp Eradication Raised to 1%

In accordance with the wishes of farmers and the hemp industry, the USDA has raised the THC levels which trigger hemp eradication to 1% from the 0.5% which it was previously. This change was intended to come into effect on the 22 of March 2021; however as it was released by the office of outgoing President Trump’s administration,  this new rule will likely be frozen by the Biden Administration. This is standard for a presidential transition, when new rules and revisions issued by the outgoing administration are often frozen and reviewed.

When the Farm Bill of 2018 was passed, hundreds of growers and other industry stakeholders were opposed to the 0.3% THC limit which was mandated. This limit is extremely low, seems random, and is not based on a scientific source. Any crop which exceeds this limit is considered “hot” and must be destroyed by farmers.

Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC)

The authorities are finally willing to recognize the struggle farmers face battling the many factors beyond their control which can cause an increase in total THC levels. These factors include seed genetics and climate, which can contribute to a crop surpassing the negligent violation threshold for THC.

Additionally, raising this threshold to 1.0% reduces the risk of producers incurring negligence violations without increasing the risk of non-compliant material reaching channels of commerce.

Despite the convenience the new rule offers to cannabis growers, it does create an issue for international trade, as in Canada and the EU the threshold remains at 0.3%. This makes the export of American hemp to these markets impossible.

The new rule will also require that the total THC of a crop, which includes accounting for the potential conversion of tetrahydrocannabinolic acid (THCA) into THC, is reported and used to determine the THC content of a hemp sample.

Today, GemmaCert has customers in 30 countries. About 25% of them grow hemp and use their GemmaCert device to avoid harvesting a “hot” crop. This ensures that growers don’t waste valuable time and resources on crops which will eventually need to be destroyed. It also saves them the costs of destroying the crop, as well as the loss of profits from not being able to sell the hot hemp. GemmaCert gives hemp farmers the much-needed ability to test their crop in the time running up to the harvest and to monitor an increase in total THC and total CBD. Additionally, farmers can even use it to determine optimal harvest time for their crops. With GemmaCert, farmers are able to measure total THC down to 0.2%.

Cannabis Testing

What Does the Biden Administration Really Mean for Cannabis?

Cannabis reform is firm on the legislative agenda with the Democrats back in the White House and controlling both Houses of Congress. The extent of these reforms, however, remains uncertain. So, what can we expect during the next four years?

As a Senator, Biden had a “tough on crime” reputation during the ‘80s and ‘90s. But time has made a difference. During the Presidential campaign, Biden made it clear that his administration would view cannabis reform positively. Yet, we need to be realistic. There are much more urgent and serious issues on the President’s desk to deal with right now. Cannabis is not a top priority.

A federal legalization of medical cannabis is possible, but not for recreational adult use. The 117th Congress is more likely to advance a federal decriminalization of cannabis and a modest rescheduling. It will still be up to state legislatures to decide what happens in their jurisdictions beyond that. In this context, it is important to note that also during this election numerous counties and states voted for legalization of medical and recreational use of cannabis. In total, 15 states have now either enacted or have voted to enact adult-use legalization laws, while 36 states have either enacted or have voted to enact medical marijuana access laws. This will undoubtedly impact political decisions down the line.

New leadership is also expected at the FDA. This should usher in the long-awaited acceptance of CBD as a dietary supplement with very limited health claims. A new piece of legislation has been introduced to this effect, but it could take some time before the bill passes. In any case, federal recognition of CBD as a supplement will further erode legislature opposition to cannabis and boost favorable public opinion even further. We can also expect more openness to medical cannabis research by academia and healthcare institutions without fearing federal sanctions for doing so.

The Biden administration is expected to support increased industrial hemp cultivation since the plant, as identified by the USDA, can siphon off carbon from the atmosphere. This sits well with Biden’s determination to advance an eco-friendly economic and global agronomic policy focused on carbon capture, sustainability, and plant-based economics.

In conclusion, under the Biden Administration cannabis reform will move more slowly than what many would like to see and too quickly for those still opposed. There will be a gradual easing up on restrictions, backed by ever higher levels of public support, fueling even more industry growth. But right now, there are more urgent issues requiring the President’s attention in the Oval Office.

How to Choose the Right Cannabis Testing Lab?

Third-party Cannabis Testing Labs

The need for the cannabis industry to fully adopt in-house is recognized; it is necessary to allow for real-time decisions to be made in the field. Despite this, cannabis businesses will still need to use third-party labs to meet mandatory regulatory compliance so it’s not a cast of which is better – in-house vs. lab testing. Unfortunately, although there are thousands of growers, there is a shortage of labs. Many of the labs available are small and poorly equipped and testing is often done by technicians with very little experience. Some labs have even been known to artificially inflate potency results in order to give higher THC values in order to raise the crop’s market value as well as to deceive consumers into purchasing the product.

Several companies have put aside any concern for customer safety and preferred to focus on short-term profits. These companies seek out labs that allow them to pass all compliance tests regardless of their actual results. This is known as lab shopping, which refers to seeking out a lab that is easy to work with.
The lack of consistent standards for testing means that labs can often end up with different results.

Inaccurate results can put the value of your crop at risk. You can manage this issue by following two parallel tracks.

  1. In-House Cannabis Testing

    The first track involves ensuring you have a way of conducting your own testing in-house so that you can cross-check the results with those you receive from the lab.

  2. Credible Cannabis Testing Lab

    The second track you should follow is to make sure you do your due diligence and select a credible lab which will work best for your business. This includes ensuring the lab is certified to perform cannabis testing. The lab should also have ISO 17025 certification, which testifies to the lab’s professionalism.

Steps To Help Select a Qualified Lab For Cannabis Testing

  • Staff At Third Party Testing Labs

Other steps you can take to make sure you’re selecting a qualified lab are to inquire into the experience and qualifications of the staff. The staff should be trained scientists who hold a minimal qualification of a bachelor’s degree. When you talk to them, take the opportunity to evaluate their expertise and knowledge of cannabis regulations.

  • Certificate of Analysis Results

Ask to see example Certificates of Analysis, and make sure to read the fine print, particularly regarding their margins of error. If these are unavailable, ask them to disclose this information. Additionally it’s best to always see what industry peers have to say about the lab.

  • Research Third Party Labs

Finally, a simple Google search is often enough to find any problems the lab may have had in the past. Beware of labs which have been previously penalized by the authorities for tampering with their results.

At the end of the day, in order to build your business into a strong and profitable one, you must first gain your customer’s trust by ensuring their safety. Choosing the wrong lab can jeopardize your customer’s health and the trust they place in your business.

What you should know before treating your pet with CBD?

Use of CBD to treat a variety of animal maladies has been on the rise. It has been used to treat anxiety and certain skin conditions, and some studies claim it can even be used to decrease arthritis pain and control seizures. It’s available in a variety of forms such as oils, capsules, topical lotions, and dog treats.

A report by the Brightfield Group indicates that the pet CBD category grew 946% in 2019 alone. Not only is this an area of the market which has experienced substantial growth, it is a market which continues to show signs of further development. According to a new report by Grand View Research, the global CBD pet market size is expected to reach USD 399.2 million by 2027, expanding at a CAGR of 40.3%.

Treating Your Pet with CBD

Despite the growing market, vets are still reluctant to prescribe CBD to pets due to the limited amount of peer-reviewed research available. Even among the few studies which have been completed, the sample sizes were small, meaning that no certain conclusions could be drawn.

It is important to remember to never give an animal any form of medication unless prescribed by a professional, in this case a vet. Animals may have a different reaction to a substance which is safe for humans, such as in the case of chocolate for dogs or onions for cats. Make sure to only give your pet CBD products which are made especially for the treatment of animals.

When a vet does prescribe CBD for treating an animal, as with humans it is recommended to start the dosage low and slow and see how the animal reacts. Based on the reaction, dosage may then be appropriately adjusted.

The Risks of an Unregulated Market

One of the most important factors to be aware of when using a CBD product to treat your pet is the risks inherent in using products in a young and unregulated market. As with human products, not all the products marketed as pet CBD actually contain CBD. As there are no federal government-mandated market regulations set in place for pet CBD at the moment, and the market has become flooded with products which contain barely any traces of CBD.

These risks simply indicate the importance of being able to test CBD products and determine their contents before we give them to our pets. A market sorely lacking any form of regulation means that having access to a reliable and quick method of testing your product has become even more vital.