Third Party Laboratory Testing: What are the Main Tests to Anticipate?

If you want to be successful in the cannabis industry, it is important to have a reliable method of determining the quality of hemp products. One of the most reliable methods of achieving this is hemp testing.

Hemp testing is done by third party laboratories that test and confirm the components of the cannabis product. But you might be wondering: what are the main tests or processes used for testing cannabis products in a laboratory? Here is a closer look at the three main types of tests that are used to determine the components of a cannabis product.

Potency Test

The commonest done by third party laboratories is the potency test. This is a test done to establish the quantities of different cannabinoids in a cannabis product. The test mainly uses High-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) to separate the individual cannabinoids and determine their quantities. The main cannabinoids in a hemp product include CBD, THCA, CBC, THCV, Δ-8 THC, and CBDV.

Notably, the potency test puts a lot of emphasis on Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC,) the psychotic component in a cannabis plant. According to the Farm Bill amendments of 2018, every cannabis product should not have THC levels surpassing 0.3%. So, if you establish that the cannabinoid profile shows the product contains high levels of THC, you should not stock it because it can get you on the wrong side of the law.

Terpene Profile

If you take a closer look at plant tissues, they contain small and volatile compounds referred to as terpenes. These terpenes are responsible for the specific characteristics of the cannabis plants such as smell and taste. When you take a cannabis product for third party testing, the terpene tests will only be done if it was made from full-spectrum extracts. The terpenes present in a CBD product can have specific therapeutic benefits such as:

  • Anti-nausea.
  • Sedative.
  • Muscle relaxant.

Heavy Metals

The cannabis plant is a known bio-accumulator. This implies that it has a very good ability to absorb nutrients from the soil and concentrate them on the leaves and stems. But this also means that cannabis can pick and concentrate the harmful compounds, such as heavy metals. Therefore, if they are not carefully identified and removed during processing, they are likely to show up in the final hemp products.

Third party laboratories can help to check and establish whether the samples taken for testing contains heavy metals. If these heavy metals are in high levels, you should not stock that product because heavy metals are associated with problems such as inflammation and cell-structure destruction. Some of the common heavy metals include:

  • Lead.
  • Arsenic.
  • Cadmium.
  • Mercury.

Organic Solvents

Many industries today use organic solvents to extract products from plants. When used in extracting cannabinoids, there is a danger of some solvent being left in the final product. Therefore, a good third party laboratory will be able to test the presence or organic solvents such as:

  • Propane.
  • Ethanol.
  • Acetone.
  • Isobutene.

When you take a hemp product for further testing in a third party laboratory, the above three tests are the most common. But they can also carry further tests to check the presence of bio-contaminants, and insecticides. Do not just buy and stock any cannabis product, make sure to test them, and only sell the highest quality ones.

All opinions expressed on USDR are those of the author and not necessarily those of US Daily Review.