Ensuring The High Quality of Medical Cannabis

With medical marijuana becoming more common, there are certain issues potential users should be aware of. One of these, perhaps the most important, is quality of product. It’s one thing to “go natural” when it comes to medicine, but “natural” can also include some nasty contaminants that will wreak worse havoc on the body than the conditions a patient is taking marijuana for.

Potential Biohazards

The cannabis plant can attract a number of bacterial and fungal agents. These include various yeasts and molds, E. coli and Coliform bacteria, Salmonella, Alternaria, Botrytis, Mucor, aerobic bacteria, and mycotoxin-producing fungi such as Cladosporium, Penicillium and Aspergillus.

Additionally, plants can be subject to contamination from heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, lead and arsenic present in the soil. There is also the hazard of chemical contamination by pesticides and other environmental pollutants to consider. All of these various agents have to be screened out through testing conducted by certified laboratories in order to ensure consumers are getting completely safe product to use.


In order to perform these screenings, a variety of different testing methods are employed. High-pressure liquid chromatography, mass spectrometry, gas chromatography, and dew-point measurements are used to detect traces of pesticides, residual solvents, and biological contaminants. Heavy metal contaminants are identified through inductively-coupled plasma mass spectrometry, but not every lab has this capability at present.

In addition to performing scientific tests such as the ones already outlined, screening labs also help clinicians through consultation on formula and dose standardization, quality assurance assistance, and various cannabis product research and development efforts. They also help both clinics and retailers with various custom projects and, more importantly, to ensure full compliance with all licensing requirements and regulations for operation in a given municipality.

Certified Laboratories

Testing is conducted by laboratories and technicians who meet ISO/IEC 17025:2005 standards in addition to those imposed by various state laws. These specify the requirements a lab should be able to meet to be qualified to carry out tests with both standard and non-standard methodologies. ISO/IEC 17025:2005 compliant facilities are following a general industry standard but must still be certified by proper regulatory agencies.

Click on the link provided for more testing info. Be certain to ascertain prior to entering into any contractual arrangement that the laboratory chosen for testing meets all the requirements for quality control and accuracy of results.