Cannabinoids are the class of compounds commonly associated with the psychoactive effects and medicinal benefits of cannabis, and are produced by the glandular trichomes on the surface of the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are biosynthesized in the acidic (ie. carboxylated) form and mainly exist in the plant in this “non-activated” form. However, the carboxyl group is volatile, and upon combustion (ie. smoking, vaporizing, and cooking), and to a lesser extent, exposure to light or heat during harvest and storage, converts to the corresponding “activated” neutral counterpart. The scientific community has isolated over 80+ cannabinoids from various strains of cannabis, however, many of those identified are breakdown products and artifacts.
3B Analytical employs sophisticated UPLC-DAD technology to perform cannabinoid profile screenings. Currently, our test screens for the five major cannabinoids: THCa, THC, CBD, CBDa, and CBN. These constituents are typically present in the cannabis plant in the highest concentrations, and are most commonly associated with psychoactive and pharmacological effects of cannabis.
Along with the growing popularity of highly concentrated cannabis extracts, comes an inherent need for testing to confirm the removal of potentially harmful solvents and impurities. 3B Analytical’s residual solvent testing utilizes the latest Headspace Chromatography technology in order to assist processors in validating production methods and to best ensure the safety and quality of cannabis concentrates for consumers.
What are residual solvents?
Residual solvents are organic volatile chemicals that are used in the stripping of cannabinoids from plant matter in the production of cannabis extracts such as shatters, oils, crumbles, dabs, etc. Ideally, the solvent is completely purged from the end product, but processing inadequacies may lead to these chemical compounds being retained.
Since there are no therapeutic benefits of residual solvents and they pose potentially detrimental health consequences, it is vital that concentrates are proven free and clear of impurities prior to consumption. Click here for the current list of residual solvents and action limits in Oregon.
3B Analytical can confirm purity by quantifying residual solvents down to part per millions utilizing our laboratory-developed method.
For good or bad, pesticide use in the agricultural industry is ubiquitous. In cannabis cultivation specifically, pesticides, both organic and non-organic, are commonly used as a tool to manage disease and infestations. However, there is a dearth of federal guidelines on the subject of pesticides and cannabis: there exists no registered pesticides or application limits. To help mitigate this problem, the Oregon Department of Agriculture has released a pesticide guidance list, to aid growers in distinguishing permissible products from those definitively not-allowed.
The complex matrix of cannabis, with all of its cannabinoid and terpenoid constituents, makes pesticide detection a uniquely challenging enterprise. Oregon state law mandates the testing of cannabis for a panel of over 50 analytes. Click here for the current list of Pesticide Analytes and Action Limits.