With the legalization of cannabis spreading across the globe, and scientific studies of its medicinal and other benefits multiplying, it is becoming clear to all involved parties that hemp and cannabis testing is an important part of the equation. Testing is getting so much attention in fact, that ASTM International is developing standards for safety and quality within the industry. With testing for internal controls as well as for regulatory purposes, there is a LOT of ground to cover in the world of hemp and cannabis testing.
Benefits of Hemp and Cannabis Testing
Industry tests can be done at several points in the growing and production stages, and for a variety of reasons.
Testing Helps Growers Stay in Compliance
Growers run the risk of having to destroy their hemp crop if the plants contain over 0.3% THC. THC spikes just after CBD levels peak, so it is a grower’s best interest to let the plants mature as long as possible. Unfortunately, this also brings risks. By utilizing testing, growers can better understand their strains’ growing patterns, and then harvest at peak CBD levels before tipping the scales with too much THC.
Testing Helps Growers Forecast Profits
By testing their plants for THC or CBD levels, growers can better estimate the value of their crop, and adjust their business plans accordingly.
Testing Helps Producers Make Great Products
Just as testing helps growers stay in compliance, it helps producers even more. Not only can they prove their products’ content, they can create and re-create the products that retailers and consumers want.
Testing Gives Consumers Peace of Mind
In the past, people purchasing cannabis products had no real way of knowing what they were getting. The stories of “I didn’t get what I expected” abound; bad trips, side effects, and terrible quality were just part of the scene. Now, consumers are informed and excited about getting just what they asked for. By testing products, you are showing the consumer that you not only believe in your products, but you care for their well-being.
Testing Gives the Industry Validity
Even though the world is opening up to the potential in CBD, THC, hemp and cannabis, there is still a LOT of resistance. It will take a mountain of scientific studies, education, and exposure to instill acceptance of this once-forbidden plant. Utilizing ASTM International standards is yet another way to show the world that this is serious business, with great benefits.
Drawbacks of Hemp and Cannabis Testing
While the need for hemp and cannabis testing is clear, there are always drawbacks to creating more rules and procedures in an industry – especially one that has never been regulated before.
Independent Testing Costs More
When testing for regulatory purposes, independent tests are more trustworthy, and are likely required, depending on the laws in your area. These tests add yet another business expense that growers and producers may not have accounted for.
Not All Testing Companies Are The Same
Hemp and Cannabis testing still is not regulated, so when you are looking at independent test companies, be sure to find out what independent certification THEY hold. If the company doing your testing has untrained staff, poorly calibrated equipment, or is using unproven methods, your results will likely be incorrect, and won’t hold up for legal reasons.
Your Products May Be Mislabeled
Since hemp and cannabis testing isn’t yet regulated, consumers (and sellers) may be misled to what their product contains. Without standards in place (like ASTM international is creating), poor testing will yield incorrect results.
Testing Can Cause Legal Issues
There are no Federal standards for testing in the United States. This muddies the water when it comes to how samples are examined, which can cause some unfortunate situations.
For example: A 50-year-old woman was traveling, and brought her CBD oil with her. She was pulled over in Wyoming due to expired license plates. As she couldn’t pay the fine, she was arrested. While being booked, jail personnel found her bottle of CBD oil. Their field test showed a presence of THC, and she was charged with a felony. Later, independent tests showed THC levels to be 0.06%, but she was still in trouble due to local laws.
Learn more at CannaCon
We are in the midst of growing pains in the cannabis industry, but the light is at the end of the tunnel. Hemp and cannabis testing is yet one more hurdle to leap as the industry gains acceptance and becomes mainstream. Through testing, we can offer consistency, quality, and peace of mind. And it is worth it.
Want to learn more about the merits of cannabis and hemp testing? Join us for a CannaCon event in your area. Get your tickets today.