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Cannabis Testing

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Where to find an ISO 17025 accredited PharmLabs cannabis analytic and compliance testing near you!

Services

Cutting edge services offered by PharmLabs.

Cannabinoids Profiling & Analysis

Our Cannabinoid Potency test offers a quantitative analysis of several common psychoactive compounds found in cannabis and cannabis derived products. Our cannabinoid potency test establishes the amount of Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), Tetrahydrocannabinol Acid (THCA), Cannabidiol (CBD), Cannabidiol Acid (CBDA), Cannabigerol (CBG) and Cannabinol (CBN), contained in a submitted sample of cannabis or cannabis product.

Our Cannabinoid Potency test separates the acidic compounds from the neutral compounds and defines the decarboxylation ratio of a sample which is extremely helpful in formulations of a product and the dosing of a consumer. We recommend using our Cannabinoid Potency Testing for all cannabis and cannabis related products. We use an established scientific method utilizing a High-Pressure Liquid Chromatography (HPLC) for the separation and quantification of THC, THCA, CBD, CBDA, CBG, and CBN. All results are submitted as a percentage of the dry weight of the entire sample unless specifically requested in mg/g, mg/mL, and/or mg/Unit.

Microbiological Contaminants Screenings

Plant matter, including cannabis, are ideal breeding grounds of many types of bacteria and molds. Many of the mold species are capable of creating compounds that are known for causing certain diseases and cancers-mycotoxins. Consumers that are experiencing immune system impairments are at high risk from mycotoxin contaminated products. Mycotoxin & contaminant testing has been done regularly with a High Performance Liquid Chromatograph with a Fluorescence Detector and a Post Column Reactor.

PharmLabs LLC Microbiological Screen is compliant with CA Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation (BMCR) law and will include the detection of Shiga toxin–producing Escherichia coli is not detected in 1 gram; Salmonella spp. is not detected in 1 gram; andPathogenic Aspergillus species A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, and A.terreus are not detected in 1 gram. Using qPCR and differential selective medium technology, we can identify, detect and quantify these microbial contaminants as total plate counts (CFUs) or in parts per million (ppm).

Micro organisms in cannabis can be an indication of spoilage, levels of sanitation and the potential for human pathogenesis. We recommend all manufacturers to test their products before they hit the dispensaries/store shelf and also seek consulting advice on how to properly package and store the edible to increase stability for its shelf life. All of these preventative actions can help prevent consumers from getting sick and also increase the credibility of the cannabis industry as a whole.

Mycotoxin Contaminants Screenings

Also under ideal conditions, some fungi can produce toxic metabolites known as mycotoxins (ex. Aflatoxin and Ochratoxin) which can infect immunocompromised humans and cause allergic, aflatoxin and pathogenic infections such as the disease Aspergillosis.

Especially for those with compromised immune systems, Microbiological contamination can be very harmful and dangerous to one's health. Scientific studies suggest continuous exposure to a specific mycotoxin often results in an allergic reaction resulting from buildup over time, that has the potential to be lethal to some patients even without a compromised immune system.

PharmLabs LLC Mycotoxin Screen is compliant with CA Bureau of Cannabis Controls (BCC) regulations and will include the detection of Aflatoxin (B1,B2,G1,G2) and Ochratoxin A. Using an LC MS/MS, we can quantify in parts per billion (ppb) the exact amount of Aflatoxin and Ochratoxin present.

Terpenes Profiling

Terpenes (TUR-peen) are a large class of organic hydrocarbons produced by a wide variety of plants, and are referred to as terpenoids when denatured by oxidation (drying and curing the flowers). They are the main building block of any plant resin or "essential oils" and contribute to the scent, flavor, and colors. Some are known to have medicinal value. Our test includes: α-Pinene, Camphene, Myrcene, β-Pinene, 3-Carene, α-Terpinene, Ocimene-1, Limonene, p-Cymene, Eucalyptol, g-Terpinene, Terpenolene, Linalool, Isopulegol, Geraniol, β-Caryophyllene, Humulene, Nerolidol-1, Guaiol, Caryophyllene Oxide, α-bisabolol.

Residual Solvent Analysis

Residual solvent analysis is important for any highly-concentrated forms of cannabis. When butters, oils, wax and shatters are created, solvents are used to extract the cannabinoids from the physical plant material. There are three classes of residual solvents based on their assessed risk to human health. Repeated exposure to residual solvents can cause significant health issues to consumers, including allergic reactions, headaches, nausea and more. Most often, residual solvents are analyzed with a Gas Chromatograph with an FID detector and a headspace autosampler.

Pesticide & Herbicide Analysis

We test for 66 pesticides commonly used during different states of growing cannabis. Our method for determining Pesticide concentration by LC MS/MS and GC MS/MS is completely quantitative and involves an extensive sample prep procedure to ensure high sensitivity. All samples are run with accompanying standard curves containing known concentrations of pesticide standards as well quality control samples to ensure high accuracy and precision. The process begins by pulverizing the plant material into a homogenous powder to ensure all parts of the flower are represented in the analysis. The material is then extracted in a solvent that solubilizes pesticides, and these compounds are then further separated from interfering compounds using additional purification steps. We have developed our sample prep process independently in our lab and we do not use any commercially available system to extract pesticide from the products.

Once the sample prep is complete, the sample is analyzed on a Triple Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer which is coupled to an HPLC or a GC. Our quantitation range spans nearly 3 orders of magnitude, ranging down to the low parts per billion for most compounds. Calibration curves and quality control analysis ensure linearity in quantitation, and this analysis is included in the report.

Pesticide residues in cannabis that has been dried and inhaled have a direct pathway into the bloodstream. Like other foodstuffs, contaminants consumed through foods mixed with cannabis may present an exposure hazard. It is logical to assume that the prohibition on the use of a federally registered pesticide would result in a zero tolerance or allowable residue on the consumed cannabis. However, three states allow cannabis to contain pesticide residues of any federally registered pesticide up to a level less than the lowest legal residue of the pesticide on food. Oregon has set a generally acceptable level of .1ppm. This allowance of pesticide exposure does not account for the lack of EPA review of cumulative risk or toxic body burden associated with the additional exposure to pesticide residues from cannabis. Very little peer-reviewed research has been published on the health and safety risks associated with pesticides on dried cannabis. However, the tests that have been performed show cause for significant consumer concern, particularly medical patients or those with elevated risk factors. Studies on tobacco provide good indications of the threats that may arise from smoking pesticide-laced products and, thus, the importance of state enforcement. A 2002 study, published in the Journal of Chromatography A, found that 1.5-15.5% of pyrethroid insecticides on treated tobacco is transferred to cigarette smoke. Significant levels of pesticide residues were found within the cigarette’s cotton filter. In addition to the transference of pesticide residue from the dried plant to the smoker, burning can cause pyrolysis (decomposition) of the pesticide, forming toxic mixtures or other toxic pesticide contaminants. Additionally, unlike most packaged tobacco products, cannabis is not typically filtered when its smoke is inhaled, and therefore smokers may expose themselves to much higher levels of pesticides and degradates.

Heavy Metal Analysis

ICP/MS and AA Spectrophotometers have been reliable sources of instrumentation to test for heavy metals. The significance in testing for metals, such as lead, mercury, cadmium and arsenic is imperative. Reducing the exposure to these heavy metals will reduce the risk of adverse health effects, especially in those consumers who have an already compromised immune system.

Unfortunately, there is a potential of heavy metal exposure with the use of cannabis from cultivating the plant itself, its commercialization, and its intake methods. Soils used for growing cannabis outdoors are frequently in peri-urban locations or near abandoned industrial and mining sites. Consequently, the presence of pollutant metals such as lead (Pb), mercury (Hg), arsenic (As), and cadmium (Cd) in the soil and water tend to be more pervasive. Certain packagings have been found to contain heavy metals, where these metals have been proven to leech ino products at high contaminating levels, failing batches. Cultivation soils used indoors can also present problems especially if non-certified fertilizers and/or pesticides containing Pb or As are used. As cannabis is a commodity typically sold by weight, some street dealers have been known to deliberately "lace" product to increase its weight. Pb is commonly used for this and in excess amounts is visible due to its consistency and white color.

Water Activity/Moisture Testing

As part of our California Compliance testing, our laboratory analyzes dried flower harvest-batch samples to determine its water-activity level. If the water activity is at or below 0.65 Aw, the sample “passes” water-activity testing.

Our laboratory analyzes solid and semi-solid edible cannabis products to determine its water-activity level as part of our California Compliance Testing. If the water activity is at or below 0.85 Aw, the sample “passes” water activity testing. Water activity at or above .85 Aw that is found in a product is an indicator that there is the ideal conditions for bacterias to grow and contaminate the product in the sealed package.

Our laboratory reports the water-activity level of the sample in Aw to 2 significant figures. This information is included on certificate of analysis when required.

We analyze a cured flower harvest-batch sample to determine its moisture content when required by law. If the moisture content is at 5.0% to 13.0%, the sample “passes” moisture-content testing. Moisture content in percentage to the nearest tenth of one percent, by weight, of the dry sample on the certificate of analysis. By California law, if a harvest-batch sample “fails” water-activity or moisture-content testing, the harvest batch may be returned to the cultivator or person holding title for further drying and curing unless prohibited by these regulations. The harvest batch will then need to be retested before it can be released to consumers.

Pricing

Our Executive Team

People behind PharmLabs' high quality services.

Greg Magdoff - COO/Founder

Greg has an extensive background in business marketing and hands-on experience with chemical science; specifically chromatography. Greg, who graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing; worked for over a decade in one of the largest sales and marketing brokers in the United States representing major clients such as GlaxoSmithKline, Johnson and Johnson, Del Monte Foods, Delta/Moen, Quaker and Gatorade. Greg also managed a Southern California Division of nearly 100 Territory Sales Specialists for over 6 years. Greg also helped design and debug a business solutions software product for scientific laboratories across the country.

Clarence D. Gillett, PhD - VP of Scientific Operations & Laboratory Director

Dr. Gillett recently joined the company in 2019 and oversee all scientific applications and works to keep us on the cutting edge of innovations. As Science Development Director, for two of the leading innovative companies, Metabolon and Biocrates, Dr. Gillett lead efforts to apply mass spectrometry science in the emerging field of metabolomics in animals, and plant studies, and in the advancement of personalized medicine, throughout North America. He has since been successful in the industry assisting startups meet compliance requirements.

Dr. Gillett holds a PhD in Molecular, Cellular, Developmental, Biology and Genetics from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; completed his postdoctoral work at the University of California San Francisco; spent his marine biology undergraduate years, with an interest in algae, while enjoying the dives from the California and Hawaii coastlines. He served six years as a Field Medic in the US Army National Guard. When not on the tennis courts, he relishes in the uncertainties of traveling to new countries and engaging with the locals.

Emanuele Tozzato - Laboratory Informatics

Emanuele joined PharmLabs from day one as the technical innovator and problem solver. Under the feedback loop offered by PharmLabs, he built the cutting edge LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) used at PharmLabs, and he's now working full-time at 42+0 Technologies on PharmWare Cannabis LIMS, the product that was born from this collaboration. He previously served as a software artisan for Sony PlayStation, Miley Cyrus, Sleepy Giant, VIPC, FocusVision, 2night and very many others.

Our team is always growing! Send us an email to become part of PharmLabs.

Frequently asked questions (FAQ)

1. I'm a new client, how do I get started?

Create your client Account by clicking on "Create Account" from the PharmLabs portal of your chosen laboratory. Once you've created your account, you can bring your samples in during operating hours. We're open to the public 9am - 5pm, Monday through Friday. Where a pick-up service is available, you can call the laboratory for a quote.

2. What are our hours of operation?

We're open to the public Monday–Friday from 9am-5pm. We reserve the morning for the scientists to prepare the laboratory and instruments for the day's testing.

3. How much of a sample do I need to provide for testing?

SERVICE TYPE FLOWER CONCENTRATE SOLID LIQUID TOPICAL EDIBLE
Cannabinoid / Potency 2g 1g 2.5mL 2.5g/mL Entire packaged edible
Pesticide Screening 3g 2g 2.5mL 2.5g/mL Entire packaged edible
Heavy Metal Screening 2g 2g 1.5mL 1.5g/mL Entire packaged edible
Mycotoxins 1g 1g 1.5mL 1.5g/mL Entire packaged edible
Microbial Testing 2g
2g
1.5mL
1.5g/mL Entire packaged edible
Homogeneity n/a n/a n/a n/a 10 packaged edibles
Residual Solvent 1g .5g 1mL 1g/mL Entire packaged edible
Terpene 1g .5g 1mL 1g/mL Entire packaged edible
California COMPLIANCE 12g 12g 12mL 12g/mL Entire packaged edible
Above are the amount of samples needed for each service offered shown in units of g or mL

4. How long does my sample take to test?

All potency test results will be posted to your account the next business day, by midnight or sooner all dependent on workflow, sample load and time/day of the week. We strive to get results to you within 24hrs or sooner! Wet flower samples will take longer than 24hrs. Terpene, Residual Solvent and Microbiological testing services can take up to 3 days for results. For Pesticide Analysis, please consult the laboratory.

5. How will I receive my test results when they are completed?

We'll send you a text message the second your results are posted to your PharmLabs dashboard, letting you know the results are ready to be viewed. Then, you can log-in from anywhere you have internet access and check your results. Make sure you click “LAB TEST” next to your name at the top right of the screen to find your personal lab results.

6. Can I mail you my samples/how do I drop off samples?

Where a pick-up service is available, you can call the laboratory for a quote. You can come into the laboratory during open office hours, Monday through Friday, Noon-5pm. Feel free to drop samples through our mail slot in the front door, make sure you label your samples if you do.

7. How much does testing cost?

We Offer a variety of testing including Potency, Microbiological, Pesticides, Residual Solvents and Terpene Profiling. Tests can be purchases individually or in packages of 10, 20, 50 or 100. One Hundred packs come with FREE PHOTOS.

See Pricing

8. How can I pay?

We accept Cash, Check, Money Orders and Credit Cards.

9. Can I post my results to WeedMaps?

Yes! Sign into your PharmLabs Account. Click your Name. Click Edit Integrations. Select WeedMaps. Copy and paste your WeedMaps URL Web Address. Tab down. Wait for information to load. Select if you'd like your results to load automatically or if you'd like to approve in WeedMaps before. To release you results onto WeedMaps, just mark your results as public by clicking the “Private” button. This will happen instantly. Please contact the lab for additional assistance with your WeedMaps and PharmLabs integration.

Contact Us

info@pharmlabscannabistesting.com

+1 (619) 356-0898