As more states begin legalizing cannabis, we see more and more dispensaries popping up across the country. When you walk inside and take a look at some of the products on the shelves, you may notice labels that let you know they’re lab tested. You may find yourself wondering what all the fuss is about, but cannabis testing labs are essential and we’re here to tell you why.
When California passed Prop 64, it also created the California Bureau of Cannabis Control as well as a whole set of strict regulations. These regulations state that all cannabis products sold in licensed dispensaries must undergo testing in a state-accredited lab. Dispensaries cannot legally sell untested products; instead, those products must be destroyed.
Your Personal Safety
Another significant reason why we need cannabis testing labs is consumer safety. People who use cannabis do so for a variety of reasons, such as relief from pain, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and more. The last thing you want is to get sick (or worse) from a bad batch.
As cannabis grows, it’s almost like a sponge. The plants absorb everything around them, from the nutrients in the soil to pesticides that may have drifted over from a neighboring farm. Some concentrates may contain residual solvents from the extraction process.
Testing ensures that cannabis products contain no more than established limits for certain residual chemicals, thus ensuring that you don’t consume them.
If you want the highest-quality cannabis on the market, you want lab-tested products. You can confidently purchase products that offer easy dosing and predictable results. You know what you’re getting every time you make a purchase because the information is right there on the label.
What Testing Do Labs Do?
California (and other states) require several tests for cannabis products:
Legally, all products must state the THC content. Most consumers also like to know the cannabinoid content of what they purchase. The information helps you to gauge the benefits of the product and what to expect.
Terpenes are the compounds that give the plants their unique aromas and flavors. They also provide some additional benefits. Again, knowing what terpenes (and how much) helps you to understand more about the product.
As mentioned above, cannabis plants absorb everything around them. Some may also absorb heavy metals in the ground or in the fertilizer a grower uses in their greenhouse.
Certain molds (fungi) make mycotoxins, which present a significant health risk. Mold sometimes develops on the plants if they’re kept too moist at any point. For cannabis users with compromised immune systems, these toxins could be deadly.
Pesticides are supposed to keep pests off of plants. At the same time, plants can absorb the chemicals, creating an unsafe product. Lab-testing helps to determine what, if any, pesticides are present.
Microbes, such as E. coli and salmonella, can contaminate cannabis plants, resulting in unsafe products. Testing ensures that the products you use are free of these and other harmful bacteria.
Lab testing is a vital component of remaining compliant with the state’s regulatory requirements, but that’s just one of the reasons why cannabis testing labs are so important. They’re also crucial for ensuring your safety and that you get the best experiences possible, no matter what strain or product you try from the dispensary.