If you want to be a reputable – or compliant – cannabis brand, you MUST test your cannabis. It’s that simple. 

Every cannabis product that hits the shelves must undergo specialized lab testing to ensure its purity and integrity (as we’ve noted before).

The legal cannabis industry has exploded, and with this accelerated growth comes the need to ensure every product sold at licensed facilities is safe to consume and accurately labeled.

Third-party cannabis testing is essential.

Right now, the importance of state-accredited, third-party lab testing is indisputable. 

Of course, testing ensures quality control and helps determine cannabinoid content. Still, ultimately the reason you have to go through a third-party lab is that most states require lab-verified data.

With cannabis still Federally illegal, there are no Federal standards or regulations. Instead, cannabis is regulated state-by-state.

Currently, cannabis testing can be unorganized and widely disparate. Legislation is constantly being written and rewritten, and regulations are always changing as a result.

Individual states regulate psychotropic cannabis, whereas the FDA closely monitors (but does not test) hemp-based products.

Each state has developed testing requirements to mitigate pesticides, mycotoxins, heavy metals, residual solvents, and microbial contaminants. 

California’s maximum residual limits (MRL) require they monitor a total of 66 pesticides, whereas Colorado’s MRL only requires them to watch 15.

While cannabis testing is far from standardized, it at least provides consumers with the trust and transparency they seek in their favorite brands.

How accurate is third-party testing?

It’s no secret that higher THC percentages drive consumer purchasing decisions.

People are always on the lookout for the hardest-hitting, most potent cannabis product on the market, and manufacturers and growers are fully aware of this.

Because of this, labs have been accused of being incentivized to provide favorable results by inflating THC levels.

In 2017, the most extensive testing lab in Washington was under severe scrutiny for “sweetening” their THC content tests.

Two years later, the very same lab failed a microbial testing audit, and in turn, the lab was suspended and shut down.

Now, this certainly doesn’t mean ALL labs are waist-deep in large-scale inaccuracies, unethical lab behavior, and questionable practices.

But it calls into question the accuracy of third-party testing in an industry that is highly unregulated.

The need for standardized, federally regulated testing is apparent now more than ever.

Inconsistencies can be abundant when each cannabis testing lab has different protocols and uses various testing equipment.

Of course, some discrepancies cannot be avoided. Cannabis is a plant, and it’s not homogenous. The flower from one plant can vary 3% to 5% from the bottom to the top.

It all comes down to the fact that the public wants to be assured that what they are consuming will not harm them. They are only aware of what is in a product based on the certificate of analysis it receives after testing.

When consumers and patients depend on cannabis for their medical conditions, a product’s quality and safety cannot be compromised.

Why should you test in-house before sending samples to a lab?

As we’ve highlighted, third-party testing can be unreliable and problematic. However, having to send your samples off to a state-mandated cannabis testing lab is unavoidable.

A great way to protect yourself from the hazards of off-site testing is by testing your product in-house.

While in-house testing will never replace third-party lab testing, it can at least ensure you’re sending out compliant samples to these labs.

Think of in-house testing as an insurance policy on your brand. Or, in other terms, in-house testing is a reliable way of CYA (covering your a**) from any possible third-party testing deficiencies. 

You have done everything you possibly can on your end to make sure things go right.

In-house testing empowers knowledge.

As you’re aware, you need to test often during the cultivation process.

Every time you need to send out a sample to a lab to determine what is in flower, you can be shelling out anywhere from $50 to $250, and you won’t get the results for at least one to two days.

When you perform in-house cannabis testing before sending it to an off-site lab, you are no longer relying on these labs to tell you what is in your flower.

Instead, you are now asking these labs to validate the testing results you have already. This changes the conversation you have with labs completely.

Conducting tests for yourself is the only way to know what is in your flower truly, and the ability to get immediate, accurate results without having to pay a third party should be an enticing incentive alone.

Take control of your cannabis testing before you send it to an accredited third party with GemmaCert. 

Until the government removes cannabis’ Schedule 1 classification and the FDA gains oversight, we are at the mercy of uneven third-party testing.

But having the power to conduct in-house testing on your product is a terrific way to take control.

Understandably, not everyone can afford the equipment necessary for in-house testing. Potency testing is typically done using high-pressure liquid chromatography, and those units can run up to $80,000.

This is why GemmaCert has developed a simple, easy-to-use, and affordable in-house solution to testing your cannabis.

Learn more on how you can take control of your testing results. Get in touch with us today!