Setting the Bar for Cannabis Testing
Founded in 2012 by Aaron Riley, CannaSafe has become one of the industry’s leading cannabis testing laboratories in the United States. CannaSafe received the first International Organization for Standardization (ISO) accreditation of any cannabis testing laboratory in 2017, setting the bar of expectations in the highest way possible. Cannabis regulations state that cannabis testing is mandatory for all products with the responsibility lying on distributors to have testing performed.
Cannabis testing entered the third and final phase of requirements on December 31, 2018 after two previous phases which tested for the presence of Category I & II residual solvents and pesticides. Other factors that are tested for include water activity, microbial impurities, and foreign material in cannabis samples. CannaSafe takes pride in being an industry thought-leader by utilizing two liquid chromatography tools to examine each sample brought in by their 700+ clients. Riley’s team continues to set the standard as a High Times Cannabis Cup Official Testing Lab Partner and has recently received accolades as DOPE Magazine’s Best Testing Facility at the SoCal Industry Awards.
The process of testing Heavy Metals starts with digestion. Whether it’s flower, edibles, distillate, or trim, we run it through a digester that completely breaks down the sample using strong acids, pressure and temperature. This allows the sample to be analyzed in our Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS) instrument. Our Ultrawave system has the ability to digest multiple samples and matrices in one run, greatly increasing efficiency and turn-around time for our clients.
Per the BCC rules, we monitor for the big four metals in samples: Arsenic, Cadmium, Mercury, and Lead. These metals are commonly found in soil, and can leak from contaminated vaporizer cartridges, which can be extremely dangerous. CannaSafe’s main goal is ensuring consumer safety, and these instruments can detect any trace of metal in a sample down to the part per trillion level.
Terpenoids are analyzed and quantified using a gas chromatograph and either an FID detector (GC-FID) or an mass spectrometer (GC-MS). Terpenes are organic compounds produced mainly in plants and more than 100 terpenes have been identified in cannabis. They are responsible for the aromatic characteristics of the flower, giving it those distinct smells that we all enjoy. Since terpenes are volatile, they can be heated and the released gas measured against certified reference standards to quantity the relative concentrations in a sample. CannaSafe quantifies 21 of the most abundant terpenes found in cannabis and this analysis is not limited to flower; any sample matrix can be analyzed for terpene content.” – Ini Afia, Executive Lab Director at CannaSafe