Medical marijuana

Importance of Lab-Tested Cannabis

Why Lab-Tested Cannabis?

We’ve come a long way from when cannabis was legalized in Oklahoma to now. Gone are the days of questionable cannabis products, and with new laws, OMMA, and METRC, a new age of cannabis is available to patients. 

But do we know what’s in our flower? Not only is it the law, but testing cannabis is a matter of public safety. Cannabis is tested to make sure it is contaminant-free through the use of various chromatography techniques. Labs look for the following when testing samples:

  • THC potency
  • Terpenes
  • Mycotoxins
  • Residual solvents and chemical residue
  • Heavy Metals
  • Pesticides
  • Contaminants and filth

Where is cannabis tested?

There are licensed labs across Oklahoma that vendors send to test their products. Cannabis has to be tested in an OMMA-licensed facility, through a whole process of extracting samples from whatever product has been sent by vendors.

Why Licensed Dispensaries Require Testing

Not only is it a METRC requirement (the seed-to-sale system used in Oklahoma to track a product through every stage of its life), but it’s vital to ensure products accurately reflect their potency and properties. 

Labs also test for harmful chemicals and toxins from metals, mold, bacteria, and other foreign contaminants that can cause severe lung infections and other illnesses. Patients need to know what’s in their product and labs provide that quality control.

THC Potency-

Focuses on testing the contents of the cannabinoids (THC, CBD, CBG) and terpenes (myrcene, caryophyllene, pinene) using High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC).

Mycotoxins-

Focuses on isolating mold toxins using Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (LCMS) to detect and quantify precise mycotoxin levels

Residual Solvents-

It’s common for distributors to extract the essence of the flower through butane extraction to create distillate concentrates, resins, and more. Sometimes materials from these processes are not purged completely during the process. That means leftover solvents like acetone, benzene, butane, and ethanol can remain.

Heavy Metals- 

Fertilizers and soils contain natural metals, and cannabis is a hyperaccumulator, which means that it absorbs metals more than other plants. Harsher metals are called heavy metals, and if the cannabis plant is exposed to them in its environment, it can present huge health risks for patients. Arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury are examples of what is tested for in cannabis samples.

Pesticides-

Samples are tested for any potential residue leftover from pesticides that could be harmful for ingestion. Finding and isolating these residue contaminants can be found through liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS).

It’s so important to know what’s in your cannabis. With more educational resources available, patients are learning to take their green seriously, and seek out the best quality products. All products at Mango are Oklahoma-made and tested.

Lab Tested Cannabis
Art by Chase Dawson

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