The cannabis industry has experienced significant growth in recent years, with an increased focus on the significance of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) levels in cannabis products. Ensuring accurate and reliable testing of these levels is crucial for product quality, legal compliance, and consumer safety.
The need for accurate and reliable testing
Consistency in product quality
Maintaining consistent product quality is essential for building a reputable brand and fostering customer loyalty. Inaccurate THC levels can lead to uneven experiences and a loss of trust in the product.
It is worth mentioning many producer companies don’t control the entire quality parameters under which their products are held throughout the value chain. But this is when spot-testing becomes crucial: it allows for data-driven decision-making, based on the actual composition of the products going into the packaging.
Legal and regulatory compliance
To operate within the bounds of the law, cannabis businesses must adhere to strict guidelines regarding THC levels. Accurate testing is necessary to ensure compliance and avoid costly penalties or even license revocation.
That said, many cultivators have pointed out that sending samples to multiple labs yields different results. There is a reason for this: the composition of the crop will vary, especially when only analyzing one data point (in a lab COA, the results represent one sample that has been homogenized). With spot-testing, companies can have multiple reference points into the chemistry of each batch.
Consumer safety and satisfaction
Understanding the THC content in cannabis products is vital for consumer safety, as it affects the intensity and duration of the effects. Proper testing safeguards consumers from negative experiences and ensures their satisfaction.
Forward-thinking companies go a step further: they understand that cannabis is perishable, and fine-tuning product lifecycle processes allows them to deliver a phenomenal sensory experience even months after packaging.
The limitations of traditional testing methods
The high cost of laboratory testing
Sending samples to a laboratory for testing can be a significant financial burden, especially for smaller businesses. This expense can make frequent testing prohibitive, potentially leading to inconsistent products.
More and more, companies are starting to realize there are two types of testing: compliance testing and quality assurance testing. These are not the same, and optimizing how each is done can save companies thousands per month.
The time-consuming nature of lab tests
Laboratory tests often take days, if not weeks, to return results. This delay can impede production and distribution schedules, affecting overall business operations. This is because of the testing methodology employed, plus bottlenecks in the equipment scheduling systems.
Companies growing cannabis and hemp need immediate results, and as such, many employ other types of testing methodologies in-house.
The destructive nature of sample testing
Traditional testing methods often require destroying the cannabis samples, resulting in wasted product and additional costs.
But the problem is twofold: the samples for which results are generated no longer exist and as such the results can’t be run again, and as such, also can’t be validated.
The benefits of the GemmaCert device
The GemmaCert device allows for non-destructive testing, preserving valuable samples and minimizing waste.
This translates to an operational superpower to cannabis companies: measure how your product changes over time; measure how your processes affect the quality and consistency of your product.
GemmaCert delivers results in just five minutes, enabling businesses to make informed decisions quickly and maintain efficient operations.
Why many companies love their GemmaCerts: in an industry where the results delivery standard is two weeks, 5 minutes is game-changing.
No per-test cost
With no per-test fees, the GemmaCert device is a cost-effective solution for businesses of all sizes, allowing for frequent testing without breaking the bank.
GemmaCert users do not need to buy expensive one-time-use chemicals, standards, or yearly calibration services. A mobile device with the app is all that is required.
Portability and ease of use
Compact and user-friendly, the GemmaCert device can be easily integrated into any cannabis business, from cultivation to retail.
The GemmaCert was designed with ease of use in mind, but doesn’t rely solely on the design of the unit. GemmaCert has an Onboarding team to train teams on how to use their device, as well as a Support team for technical matters and a Customer Success team that trains teams on how to use the potency data created and integrate it into their processes and operations.
How the GemmaCert device works
GemmaCert employs near-infrared spectroscopy, a technique that analyzes the interaction between light and matter to determine the chemical composition of a sample. This technology is widely used in the food industry, and is even the core analysis method of NASA’s James Webb Telescope.
Machine learning algorithms
Sophisticated machine learning algorithms process the spectroscopy data to accurately determine THC levels in cannabis samples. GemmaCert was founded in 2015, and ever since then began a strain-hunting endeavor in hopes of creating a model that allowed spectroscopy to non-destructively analyze cannabis flowers. Fast-forward 8 years, GemmaCert has the world’s most powerful cannabis analysis algorithm based on near-infrared spectroscopy, and one that is used in virtually every continent where cannabis is grown.
The GemmaCert device features an intuitive interface through a mobile app that simplifies the testing process and quickly interprets results for users.
These results are automatically stored in the GemmaCert Customer Portal, where users can export certificates, view statistics, create batch reports, or export all tests with a CSV file.
Case studies of GemmaCert in action Improving quality control in a cannabis production facility
One licensed cannabis producer implemented the GemmaCert device to enhance their quality control process, resulting in consistent THC levels and increased customer satisfaction.
The reasons were simple: in Canada, once a product is handed over to distributors, producers can no longer exercise quality control and is delegated to the distributor. This meant producers had to forecast for certain storage conditions under which distributors kept products.
The result: while consumers raised their voices over the dryness of cannabis flower from many producers nationwide, the product opinions of the producers who implemented the GemmaCert kept improving. This was because of the meticulous monitoring of water activity in the whole flower from late-drying to throughout storage.
Streamlining pricing negotiations for cannabis retailers
A cannabis retailer in Europe used the GemmaCert device to simplify their negotiations process. Having the ability to spot-test a flower product that was being appraised, this retailer was able to spot differences between what the product was advertised to be, and what the product actually was. This resulted in a significant discount in the price of the product, and considering many of these orders are conducted weekly, the savings from using transparency were noticed immediately.
Comparing GemmaCert to other testing solutions The advantages of GemmaCert over lab testing
GemmaCert offers non-destructive, rapid, and cost-effective testing, making it a superior alternative to traditional laboratory testing.
The savings from using in-house testing over contract lab services are noticed immediately by managers and operators, both in money and time savings, since less money is going out of the bank account while results are getting delivered much faster.
In contrast, a single lab test is more accurate than a single GemmaCert test. But multiple GemmaCert tests outperform a single lab test.
Using GemmaCert compared to other portable testing devices
GemmaCert’s innovative combination of spectroscopy and machine learning technology sets it apart from other portable testing solutions, offering unparalleled accuracy and reliability.
For example, other testing devices that use the same method do not offer a mechanical system that captures multiple data points from a single sample. This leads to biased results, as only a small portion of the sample was actually tested.
Other methods that do not use spectroscopy require the destruction of the sample. As mentioned before, the destruction of the sample brings with it more problems than solutions.
Batch testing for cannabis products with varying THC levels is of paramount importance in the cannabis industry. Regular testing ensures consistency, compliance, and consumer safety, all of which contribute to the success of a cannabis business. The GemmaCert device provides a non-destructive, rapid, and cost-effective solution for measuring THC levels in cannabis products. Its innovative technology, portability, and ease of use make it a valuable addition to any cannabis operation. By adopting the GemmaCert device, businesses can ensure accurate, reliable results while saving samples, money, and precious time.