Despite being one of the youngest sectors in America, cannabis is one of the country’s fastest-growing spaces. Cannabis and hemp products have become extremely popular, with the sector being one of the few spaces emerging from the coronavirus pandemic relatively unscathed and actually seeing increasing sales. However, one issue that has plagued America’s state-legal cannabis industry has been cannabinoid testing.
The 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized the cultivation and sale of industrial hemp and its cannabinoids, placed a 0.3% THC limit for legal hemp. But most laboratories that test for THC, CBD and other cannabinoids often come back with different results. Consequently, a federal science agency has launched a program to push for standardized testing and analysis of the more than 100 cannabinoids in hemp and cannabis. In that vein, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (“NIST”), which is part of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has recently published a THC and CBD testing variability report.
The agency’s Cannabis Quality Assurance Program (CannaQAP) is meant to help laboratories measure key chemical compounds in hemp and cannabis products. According to NIST, the fact that cannabis was prohibited until recently means most labs are venturing into untested waters, which often leads to unreliable results.
To help create a standardized system of cannabis and hemp testing, NIST sent two hemp oil samples with known concentrations of CBD, THC and 15 other cannabinoids to 116 testing laboratories across the country. The laboratories were required to test the samples and send the results to NIST along with an explanation of the testing methods used.
The report, which was published on July 27, 2021, showed how much variance existed between the labs and their testing methods. The testing results, published in an anonymized form, were meant to be educational and to demonstrate how testing methods used by testing labs and their subsequent results varied. Brent Wilson, a research chemist at NIST, says the results compared favorably with the target values. The program is meant to provide a judgment-free platform for laboratories to display their cannabinoid testing methods to improve and standardize their measurement capabilities.
There was a wide range of variability on the CBD results, says Wilson, although the labs that missed the accurate result often fell far below the intended value. For THC, the labs were generally close to the accurate THC value, but some of them returned values that were significantly below or above the intended value. As the program progresses, Wilson expects to see the range of variability in results shrink.
The removal of any inconsistencies in the testing of THC and CBD levels in cannabis products is especially important for people who consume cannabis products for medicinal purposes, and more accurate testing coupled with the use of precision dose-measuring devices such as those made by RYAH Group Inc. (CSE: RYAH) would increase the likelihood of getting the desired results from the cannabis medicine.
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CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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