Chemical scientists examine composition of hemp extract under microscope in chemical laboratory closeup.

Professional cannabis cultivators must follow testing guidelines to maintain quality control and provide consistent products.

Cannabis is no longer a shadowy plant with a notoriously hazy history of misdirected criticism and outright criminalization. It’s now a major consumer product, rapidly budding in both the recreational and medicinal markets, driving a seismic economic boom to the tune of $90.4 billion by 2026.

With great success comes a hefty regulatory price to pay. As more states legalize cannabis and a growing number of consumers seek to partake in its many benefits, federal and state agencies are swooping in with a litany of rules and regulations to standardize quality control practices. 

And cannabis cultivators are charged with following these guidelines, even as the parameters continue to shift. Since the industry is relatively young, the standards for testing cannabis and hemp for cannabinoid potency, terpene levels, and possible impurities are constantly evolving. So what’s a professional grower to do? 

The best place to start is with the basics. Learning the bedrock ins and outs of cannabis testing gives you a strong foundation of knowledge and informs the success you’ll see in your growing endeavor. 

In-House Testing Is Within Reach For Professional Growers

External testing conducted by verified laboratories is crucial and required in many states, but in-house quality testing brings another layer of benefits to pro cultivators. Growers can utilize in-house testing to monitor overall plant development, measure cannabinoid levels, and ensure the safety and quality of raw materials. 

Cannabis and cannabis products can face many in-house tests, including screenings for harsh impurities like pesticides, herbicides, or heavy metals. There are also tests to detect molds and harmful bacteria and for more positive attributes such as flavor profiling. 

Perhaps the most common—and most sought-after—test results involve identifying the two lead cannabinoids, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), while measuring the potency of both compounds. Recreational and medicinal cannabis markets place a lot of importance on THC and CBD potency. It factors significantly into the effect of each dose and which sector of consumers the product will target once it hits the market. 

And thanks to advancements in technology and the burgeoning market of in-house testing, much of the quality control begins right in your growing operation.

Internal Quality Control For Cannabis

The first step to ensuring a high-quality product doesn’t even involve testing cannabis. Instead, it starts with a baseline of internal quality control efforts that oversee all testing procedures and equipment, as well as personnel. 

Equipment & Procedure Monitoring. Diagnostic checkups ensure all equipment runs smoothly when it matters most, while regular reviews of your testing procedure guard against any inefficiencies that could potentially slow your product’s appearance on the market. 

Personnel Monitoring. Proper staff supervision establishes a professional standard while testing cannabis samples. This involves initial training and follow-up performance reviews to avoid invalidated test results due to broken protocol. 

Once those pillars of quality control are in place, you can begin to test the actual quality of your cannabis product. 

How GemmaCert Can Help You Grow Quality Cannabis

As we mentioned earlier, state-mandated testing by third-party laboratories is unavoidable in the cannabis industry. Unfortunately, the lack of FDA oversight on such testing means these labs can be uneven in quality and often downright suspicious with a dubious track record. In-house testing gives you the power to take control and know the precise quality of your product before you deliver it into the hands of some unknown lab worker. 

But testing can be an expensive process. Some in-house testing units are priced at ridiculous heights, often ringing up totals in the $50,000-$100,000 range. That’s too much for any grower, no matter how professional. So to make in-house testing more accessible to professional growers, we developed an affordable solution that’s simple, reliable, and easy to use.

Our in-house testing products are explicitly built to be a precursor to the formal testing process, enabling you to test dry flower buds, trim, and crude extracts in a completely non-destructive manner—this means there’s no loss of product through grinding and homogenization.

 THC and CBD levels are measured accurately in both cannabis and hemp materials, so you know exactly what you’re sending off to the third-party lab. 

This is all in the name of improving your product and reaching an optimal level of quality and consistency—which inevitably boosts customer confidence and brand loyalty, leading to increased profitability in both the recreational and medicinal markets. 

It’s time to take the guesswork out of cannabis testing.