I have chosen Nevada as a model for creating a testing safety reference guide. Nevada appears to have
the most comprehensive requirements for laboratory testing and accreditation. Testing includes:
moisture content, potency analysis, terpene analysis, foreign matter inspection, microbial screening,
heavy metal screening, and pesticide residue analysis. Laboratory accreditation requirements include:
following a minimum of OECD Principles of Good Lab Practice and Compliance Monitoring or being ISO
certified. Additional requirements include: the need to have a qualified scientific director, follow
methods that are recommended by the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia and have proficiency
testing. At a minimum, states should require labs to use EPA regulations and tolerances for food.
ISO 17025 standards should be used for, microbes, toxins, residual solvents, pesticides and
heavy metals. There should be zero tolerance for all contaminants, except the microbes found in
a healthy human microbiome, if the cannabis is consumed in raw form as in juicing. Cannabinoid and
terpene/terpenoid content should be expressed as percentage of dry weight with 95% confidence.
Tested content should include delta9 THC, CBD, CBN, THC-A, CBD-A, and the three most abundant
Terpenes, if possible and it is cost effective. High Performance Liquid Chromatography
may be preferred over Gas Chromatography since this may contribute to the loss of more volatile
terpenes and to decarboxylation of THC-A and CBD-A. Third party verification by an International
Laboratory Accreditation Cooperation is also recommended. This should be done at least once a year.
Any accredited lab can be used to test cannabis products. Data suggests 2.5g of dried flowers should be
selected randomly from a 1000g sample of 1 of every 10 lots. A lot would include flowers that are
grown under the same conditions with regard to light, nutrition, CO2 and temperature. Similar sized
flowers that are harvested and cured at the same time should be used. Extracts should be tested with a
1ml sample from each lot greater than 1-10 liters for residual solvents to include at minimum butane,
hematanes, benzene, tolulene, hexane and xylene. Testing for edibles should include the potency and
the result from testing the concentrate used for its production.
These are my recommendations because medically compromised patients may already be toxic.
The presence of toxic contaminants in cannabis products may worsen patient symptoms or reduce
the effectiveness of cannabis. Determining the phytochemical content and potency will aid clinicians
with effective dosing for their patients’ medical condition.
1. Kalev Freeman, MD, PhD et al. “Cannabis Testing for Safety- Best Practices”. Phyto Science Institute,