Making Sense of Cannabis Laboratory Test Reports
Arizona’s new testing law requires that all Marijuana and infused products be tested for Potency and Microbials beginning November 1st 2020. Solvents, Pesticides/Herbicides, and Heavy Metals testing are required for all flower and concentrates. Tests are typically two or more pages in length and include panels which provide both summary and detailed information. Some terminology used includes:
Total THC – Calculated total amount of THC present (THCa x .877 + ∆9 THC). Total CBD – Calculated total amount of CBD present (CBDa x .877 + ∆9 THC).
Total Cannabinoids – Total percentage presence of all cannabinoids tested.
NR – Not Reported. Testing for this analyte has not yet been published. Batch # – The principal identifier for the product tested. The Batch # allows for
Analyte – A substance whose chemical constituents are being identified. seed-to-sale tracking of the Marijuana product tested.
PPM – Parts per Million. Defines the concentration of the compound tested per mg/g – Milligrams per gram. Typically references the amount of a compound
a unit volume. PPM is typically used as a measure of the presence of an (in milligrams) detected per gram of sample.
undesirable substance and the limits at which it becomes toxic.
Potency Test Panel (Flower Product)
The Potency Test Panel includes information on Cannabinoids detected, most notably Total THC and CBD. Other Cannabinoids and their acidic pre-cursors (THCa, CBDa, CBGa, etc.) are also usually tested and reported.
Cannabinoids are the principal active compounds found in Marijuana, and is largely regarded as responsible for the majority of its effects, including euphoria and pain relief, or having antibiotic, anticonvulsant, or anti-inflammatory properties.
Terpene Test Panel (Flower Product)
Terpenes are important aromatic compounds originating from the same
trichome sources as cannabinoids. Terpenes directly impact the taste and
smell of smoked Marijuana and are believed to be a key component of the
Microbial Test Panel (Infused Edible Product)
E. Coli and Salmonella are bacteria found in the environment, foods, and intestines of people and animals. Most types of E. Coli are harmless or cause relatively brief symptoms. A few strains of E. Coli however, can
cause severe stomach cramps, diarrhea and vomiting, whereas Salmonella is frequently the cause of food-related illness.
Aspergillus is very common in the environment, and the presence of excessive amounts of it can be dangerous to individuals with compromised immune systems. Aspergillus testing is only required for smoked products. Microbials results are provided on a Pass/Fail or Absent/Present basis.
Residual Solvents Test Panel (Infused Edible Product)
In some cases, the solvent and impurities from the solvent remain in the extracted material. These are called residual solvents and are the byproducts of the extraction process. In some cases, these impurities can be toxic.
SB1494 mandates testing for common residual solvents, as
well as establishing limits for safe consumption.
Pesticides Test Panel
(Infused Edible Product)
Pesticides are man-made complex compounds, used to repel or eradicate insects, rodents and other pests. While many pesticides become inert after application, some persist on plants and in their soil.
SB1494 mandates the testing for pesticides, and also publishes a list of banned pesticides that are not permitted for use on Marijuana in Arizona.
Heavy Metals Test Panel (Infused Edible Product)
Heavy metals are metallic chemical elements that have a relatively high density and can be toxic or poisonous even at low concentrations. Heavy metals occur in cannabis products when the plant uptakes these elements while in cultivation, or when heavy metal-containing nutrients are used. SB1494 warrants testing for four specific heavy metals: Arsenic, Cadmium, Mercury, and Lead.
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