Terpenes, Cannabinoids, and Heavy Metals; What are they and how do we test for them?

While some of our testing procedures test for harmful levels of chemicals in your product, some of our tests are for potency and determining which cannabinoids are present in a given sample. Today we will discuss Terpenes, Cannabinoids, and Heavy Metals.

Terpenes are arguably the most important chemicals in cannabis when it comes to the psychoactive effect the product has on a consumer. There are dozens of terpenes in cannabis, and when these terpenes interact with THC or CBD, they deliver astounding effects. These terpenes aren’t just limited to cannabis, either. They can be found in vegetables, fruits, and more. We predict that these chemicals will become ever increasingly important to cannabis research over the next few years.

Once we test for terpenes, we move onto heavy metals. This is one of the least known assays that will be introduced into the testing process beginning on January 1st, 2019, with Phase 3 testing. The different testing requirements were introduced to California in phases. Each procedure is categorized into a different phase, with the last phase to be introduced being Phase 3, which will be required by all facilities at the beginning of next year. Cannabis is a very high bio-accumulator, meaning it retains everything in the environment it comes into contact with. In order for us to test for heavy metals, we digest your product through our digester, and inject into an ICP-MS that analyzes your product for heavy metals.

For potency, there are 11 different cannabinoids that we test for in cannabis. This includes chemicals such as THC, CBD, THC-A, and more.  Potency is run on an HPLC instrument which identifies those 11 different cannabinoids. These cannabinoids are important for not only determining how your product will make you feel, but also how to appropriately price your product. Cannabinoids, when interacting with terpenes, create the full experience for your consumer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Contact Us
close slider