As the Cannabis market expands for medical and recreational use, so does the need for standardized quality control within the industry. When it comes to Cannabis quality control there are numerous points to consider, from moisture content to pesticide use.
Moisture Content – Cannabis flower moisture content should be tested and controlled to: minimize the potential risk of mold formation; control microbiological levels; ensure proper drying, curing and storage conditions; and support product shelf-life. Some manufacturing processes for marijuana quality assurance plan also demand a certain water content inside the starting material.
Terpenoids and Cannabinoids Analysis
The degree of terpenoids and cannabinoids in the starting material determines the best choice industrial processing method and which final cannabis product will be manufactured. This analysis is generally completed using LC-MS (Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry) or GC (Gas Chromatography). LC-MS and GC need a flow of inert gas such as hydrogen or nitrogen, both of which can easily be supplied by way of a gas generator. Discover more about the Peak Scientific variety of gas generators for GC & LC-MS here.
Pesticides and Herbicides – Just like other agricultural crops and merchandise designed for human consumption, Cannabis plants ought to be tested for herbicides and pesticides. Detecting pesticides and herbicides can be challenging as a result of complexity of cannabis material. GCMS (Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry) is usually used for this purpose.
Microbiological Screening – Medical Cannabis is often used for HIV and cancer patients where patient’s defense mechanisms continues to be compromised. Therefore, high microbial levels or pathogenic micro-organisms might be life threatening. It is important then that several Mycotoxins and fungus types ought to be detected as an element of cannabis quality control and release specifications.
Residual Solvents – Where solvents have already been used as an element of Cannabis product processing, solvent residuals inside the final products should be tested to ensure that they satisfy the accepted criteria. The FDA has published zvqtob criteria for residual solvents in APIs for pharmaceutical use.
Heavy Metals – Like a number of other plants, Cannabis draws metals from the earth. It is therfore necessary to test for Mercury, Lead, Arsen and Cadmium.
Cannabinoid Concentration – Concentration ranges for cannabinoids such as THC,THCa, CBD, CBDa, CBN, CBC, CBG should match the ranges specified on the product label, based upon product usage purpose, patient’s condition, age etc. Cannabinoid concentrations may be tested using LC-MS (Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry) and HPLC (High End Liquid Chromatography) . There are a wide range of Peak Scientific nitrogen gas generators designed especially for LC-MS, available here.
Terpene Concentration – Terpenes increase cannabinoids’ therapeutic effects and are acknowledged to have their own own health advantages, in addition they play a role in Cannabis taste and aroma. They can be detected using GC.
Taking all of the above into account, it is clear that there exists a necessity for standarized procedures for every step of the Cannabis analysis and testing process so that you can guarantee safe use. The safest way to supply cannabis testing laboratories with gas for LC-MS and GC is by gas generators, which do not present the health and safety risks associated with gas cylinders.