Despite its immense popularity, the cannabis industry is still new and relatively unregulated. While federal law classifies cannabis as a controlled substance, over 30 states have legalized cannabis in various capacities. This patchwork legislation makes it difficult for agencies like the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to fully regulate the industry.
There are always bad players in such situations. In marijuana’s case, it is companies making unsubstantiated medical claims on their products or delivering contaminated products. That’s why it is crucial you check product labels before making any purchases.
Companies are legally required to send their product to a third-party laboratory for testing, and the results should be made available to consumers. This is proof that the product is safe to use, contains what it says on its labeling and in the correct amounts.
Depending on region-specific labeling laws, producers may publish results on the label or they may provide detailed lab results (a Certificate of Analysis) via a batch number or a QR code. Third-party lab results will typically detail;
Cannabinoids. This is a group of chemicals produced by cannabis, and they are responsible for its physiological and psychological effects. The most abundant ones are THC, which is responsible for marijuana’s infamous high and CBD (cannabidiol), which is said to be medically beneficial.
Minor cannabinoids that may be present include THCa, THCv, CBDa, CBN, CBC, and CBG. Third-party results will show how much of each cannabinoid is present in the product.
Terpenes are also produced by cannabis, and they are responsible for its distinctive flavor and aroma. They work together with THC, CBD, and the other cannabinoids to create unique effects and benefits in what has been dubbed the ‘entourage effect’.
Some products are completely devoid of terpenes while others contain them. Some of the terpenes you may see on lab results include myrcene, limonene, and terpinolene.
Moisture content will also determine how safe the product is. If cannabis bud, for instance, has a high moisture level (over 15%) there is an increased risk of bacteria and fungi. However, if it is too low (less than 5%) the bud will be brittle and dry, taking away from the experience. Labs also test for microbial growth for things like salmonella, E. coli, yeast, and mold in samples with higher moisture content.
Solvents are used in extraction processes, and they can remain in low levels in the product. Different regions have different acceptable levels for various solvents but once they are past a certain level, they can have serious health implications. Labs usually test for propane, butane, benzene, and xylenes.
Heavy Metals may also be present as cannabis absorbs and stores them from fertilizers or contaminated soil. Third parties labs usually flag cadmium, arsenic mercury, and lead as well as several others in the Certificate of Analysis (COA).
A COA is an invaluable resource if you are considering purchasing a marijuana product. Producers that make their lab results easily accessible prove they have nothing to hide, and they are more likely to have safe high-quality products.
Experts say it is no wonder that leading cannabis companies like Plus Products Inc. (CSE: PLUS) (OTCQX: PLPRF) actively encourage their customers to read the product labels carefully before buying any product.
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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