As the Cannabis market grows for both medical and recreational use, so does the requirement for standardized quality control in the industry. With regards to Cannabis quality control there are lots of things to consider, from moisture content to pesticide use.
Moisture Content – Cannabis flower moisture content needs to 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 cannabis quality assurance plan also require a certain water content within the starting material.
Terpenoids and Cannabinoids Analysis
The level of terpenoids and cannabinoids inside the starting material determines the most suitable industrial processing method and which final cannabis product will be manufactured. This analysis is normally performed using LC-MS (Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry) or GC (Gas Chromatography). LC-MS and GC need a flow of inert gas like hydrogen or nitrogen, each of which can easily be supplied using a gas generator. Discover more concerning the Peak Scientific range of gas generators for GC & LC-MS here.
Pesticides and Herbicides – Just like other agricultural crops and merchandise designed for human consumption, Cannabis plants should be tested for herbicides and pesticides. Detecting pesticides and herbicides can be tough due to the complexity of cannabis material. GCMS (Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry) is generally used for this specific purpose.
Microbiological Screening – Medical Cannabis is frequently employed for HIV and cancer patients where the patient’s immune system continues to be compromised. Therefore, high microbial levels or pathogenic micro-organisms might be deadly. It is crucial then that several Mycotoxins and fungus types should be detected included in cannabis quality control and release specifications.
Residual Solvents – Where solvents have already been used as an element of Cannabis product processing, solvent residuals in the final products ought to be tested to ensure they fulfill the accepted criteria. The FDA has published zvqtob criteria for residual solvents in APIs for pharmaceutical use.
Chemical Toxins – Like various other plants, Cannabis draws metals from the earth. It is therfore essential to test for Mercury, Lead, Arsen and Cadmium.
Cannabinoid Concentration – Concentration ranges for cannabinoids including THC,THCa, CBD, CBDa, CBN, CBC, CBG should match the ranges specified on the product label, based on product usage purpose, patient’s condition, age etc. Cannabinoid concentrations could be tested using LC-MS (Liquid Chromatography Mass Spectrometry) and HPLC (High Performance Liquid Chromatography) . There are a wide range of Peak Scientific nitrogen gas generators designed specifically for LC-MS, available here.
Terpene Concentration – Terpenes increase cannabinoids’ therapeutic effects and are recognized to have their own own health benefits, additionally they play a role in Cannabis taste and aroma. They may be detected using GC.
Taking all of the above into account, it is clear that there is a necessity for standarized procedures for every step of the Cannabis analysis and testing process in order to guarantee safe use. The safest approach to supply cannabis testing laboratories with gas for his or her LC-MS and GC is via gas generators, which do not present the health and safety risks connected with gas cylinders.