As the Cannabis market expands for medical and recreational use, so does the requirement for standardized quality control in the industry. With regards to Cannabis quality control there are many things to consider, from moisture content to pesticide use.
Moisture Content – Cannabis flower moisture content ought to be tested and controlled to: minimize the risk of mold formation; control microbiological levels; ensure proper drying, curing and storage conditions; and support product shelf life. Some manufacturing processes for marijuana quality control procedures also need a certain water content within the starting material.
Terpenoids and Cannabinoids Analysis
The degree of terpenoids and cannabinoids in the starting material determines the most appropriate industrial processing method and which final cannabis product is going to be manufactured. This analysis is normally carried out using LC-MS (Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry) or GC (Gas Chromatography). LC-MS and GC need a flow of inert gas like hydrogen or nitrogen, each of which can easily be supplied by way of a gas generator. Discover more concerning the Peak Scientific range of gas generators for GC & LC-MS here.
Pesticides and Herbicides – As with other agricultural crops and merchandise intended for human consumption, Cannabis plants ought to be tested for herbicides and pesticides. Detecting pesticides and herbicides can be challenging due to the complexity of cannabis material. GCMS (Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry) is generally used for this purpose.
Microbiological Screening – Medical Cannabis is often employed for HIV and cancer patients in which the patient’s immune system continues to be compromised. Therefore, high microbial levels or pathogenic micro-organisms might be life threatening. It is important then that several Mycotoxins and fungus types should be detected included in cannabis quality control and release specifications.
Residual Solvents – Where solvents have been used as an element of Cannabis product processing, solvent residuals in the final products needs to be tested to ensure they satisfy the accepted criteria. The FDA has published zvqtob criteria for residual solvents in APIs for pharmaceutical use.
Heavy Metals – Like a number of other plants, Cannabis draws metals through the earth. It is therfore necessary to test for Mercury, Lead, Arsen and Cadmium.
Cannabinoid Concentration – Concentration ranges for cannabinoids like THC,THCa, CBD, CBDa, CBN, CBC, CBG should match the ranges specified on the product label, according to product usage purpose, patient’s medical problem, age etc. Cannabinoid concentrations can be tested using LC-MS (Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry) and HPLC (High End Liquid Chromatography) . There are a wide range of Peak Scientific nitrogen gas generators designed particularly for LC-MS, available here.
Terpene Concentration – Terpenes increase cannabinoids’ therapeutic effects and are recognized to have their own health and fitness benefits, in addition they bring about Cannabis taste and aroma. They can be detected using GC.
Taking all of the above into account, it is clear that there is a necessity for standarized procedures for every step of the Cannabis analysis and testing process in order to guarantee safe use. The safest way to supply cannabis testing laboratories with gas for LC-MS and GC is via gas generators, which do not present the health and safety risks connected with gas cylinders.