Cannabis Potency & Lab Testing – Here’s How It Works

One of the benefits of purchasing your cannabis products from a dispensary is peace of mind. You know that each product has been tested for safety, quality and potency. Whether you’re consuming for specific therapeutic benefits or a recreational experience, you should know what to expect in terms of potency and medicinal effects.

That’s where cannabis testing comes in.

Testing requirements will vary from one state to the next, and here in Nevada, they’re quite stringent. From mandates about the laboratories themselves to testing methodologies, required quality assurance tests, sample testing and compliance checks, Nevada state law is comprehensive and impacts every aspect of the testing process. Industry-wide, however, there are several common testing procedures, including those relating to potency.

Potency refers to concentrations of various cannabinoids, including THC and CBD. Since these cannabinoids have a major impact on the kinds of effects a product will have, consumers need to be aware of this information. When someone chooses a high CBD-THC ratio, they’re expecting a certain outcome based on that ratio. Testing helps ensure that it will happen.

THC and CBD Testing

By testing for cannabis potency, scientists can collect data pertaining to THC and CBD concentrations. A process called high performance liquid chromatography, or HPLC, separates and quantifies a chemical mixture. To test for cannabis potency, a sample from cannabis flower is mixed with a solvent and pumped into a tube at high pressure. Cannabinoids like THC and CBD move at different speeds through the tube, which contains a material that attracts certain molecules, and their varying speeds allow for sample characterizing.

When you read cannabinoid values on packaging, they come from these lab measurements.

There are other testing methods used to ensure the quality and safety of cannabis products. In Nevada, labs collect data to test for the presence of contaminants like pesticides, microbials, mycotoxins, residual solvents, metals, and foreign matter. In addition to THC and CBD percentages, labs test for moisture and complete terpene profiles.

Licensed facilities in Nevada are prevented from selling any products until they’ve passed all of these tests, and testing results must be provided with every sale. These results must be on file in any dispensary selling the products. It’s not uncommon for customers to request this information so that they can share it with their physicians or review them for relief from specific ailments.

Since regulations vary state to state, there has been some controversy implementing industry standards. For now, that means it’s up to individual growers to work with the best labs they can find.

About Those Terpenes

CBD and THC may get the most attention, but terpene testing is equally important – particularly for medical patients. Cannabis’ entourage effect is heavily influenced by terpene composition, and terpene interaction with cannabinoids will impact a strain’s medical effects. With lab testing, the aroma profile of a given terpene can be quantified, giving us information about the effects you can expect from one strain to another.

What About Kynd Products?

All the products here at Kynd are tested by Certified AgLabs, the first independent analytical laboratory to provide medical cannabis testing in Nevada. They have a fully operational testing facility with state-of-the-art instrumentation and the latest laboratory information systems. Certified AgLabs works closely with state and city regulators to ensure that requirements are met and regulations followed. The goal is clean, consistent cannabis.

Must be 21. Keep out of reach of children.

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