Quality Testing

Update - COVID-19

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, all face-to-face services are suspended. For further information please contact us using the form on our contact page.

 

Residual Solvents | Repeated exposure to residual volatile organic chemicals can cause significant health issues. Cannabis processors use Class 3 solvents in the extraction processes, including ethanol, isopropanol, butane, propane, heptane, acetone, and hexane. The above solvents have determined limits set at 5000 parts per million for cannabis oil products. We work to achieve a 0pmm residual solvent presence.

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Microbial Testing | Procedures‚Äč involved in microbial testing include statistical sampling, relevant microorganism testing, and sound assay design and validation. The level of water activity in any cannabis sample is instrumental to its microbial content. The curing process must be both sufficient and thorough. If cannabis samples are fresh, tests for E. coli, Clostridium botulinum, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa will be required. 

Maintaining appropriate humidity and air temperature

 

Certain pathogens, such as powdery mildew and botrytis thrive in warm, humid environments with poor air circulation. Facilities that can control these factors can reduce the severity of infections, should they occur. In the case of botrytis, this is particularly important to monitor these levels in the flowering room because the risk of infection increases as buds mature.

 

Treating irrigation water

 

Contaminated water is a primary source of infection for pythium, which creates water-borne spores (zoospores). Treating irrigation water with UV, chlorine, or other registered products may prevent the spread of this pathogen as well as fusarium, which is believed to be responsible for root rot, crown rot and damping-off.

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Product safety

Microbial Safety Testing includes tests for:

  • A. flavus
  • A. fumigatus
  • A. niger
  • A. terreus
  • Aerobic Count
  • Bile-Tolerant Gram-Negative Bacteria
  • Coliform
  • E.coil
  • Enterobacteriaceae
  • Listeria
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa 
  • Staphylococcus aureus
  • Salmonella
  • Shiga toxin-producing E.coil (STEC)
  • Yeast & Mold

Microbial pathogens

 

Microbial pathogens include Enterobacteriaceae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Bile-Tolerant Gram-Negative Bacteria, A. flavus, A. fumigatus and A. niger.


Residual solvents

 

Testing of all cannabis products (except flower) is necessary to avoid consumer product contamination with solvents. For residual solvent testing, two instruments are used, GC-FID and GCMS.


Ecoli

 

E. coli or O157:H7 may be found in water sources. The level of water activity in any cannabis sample is instrumental to its microbial content. Where cannabis samples are fresh, tests for E.coli, Clostridium botulinum, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa should be made.

Common diseases and plant pathogens

 

In March 2021 British Columbia's Ministry of Agriculture released a fact sheet describing the symptoms of the most common diseases affecting cannabis plants. Some such as pythium can result in plant death. Other pathogens cause stunted growth as well as reduced yield and potency.

  1. Maintain a clean and sanitary environment
  2. Maintain proper humidity and temperature
  3. Treat irrigation water
  4. Identify and remove diseased plants
  5. Plant disease-resistant cultivars
  6. Use disease-free planting stock or cuttings

All the plant pathogens described in the fact sheet can be spread through contaminated equipment, tools, and potentially also staff and visitors. Maintaining clean and sanitary growing facilities can minimize the potential spread of pathogens.

 

Tools, equipment, dehumidifiers, air filters, and growing and trimming rooms, should be regularly cleaned and sanitized. Visitors and staff should also use footbaths before entering the growing area and wear hairnets, beard nets, gloves and Tyvek coveralls.

 

Air filtration and purification systems such as HEPA filters and UV should also be used to reduce airborne contaminants and pathogens. In particular, botrytis and powdery mildew spores spread through airborne transmission.


Rotary evaporators cannot be used for air and water-sensitive materials unless special precautions are taken i.e. additional traps are used. The house vacuum line, a circulation bath or a membrane pump are used as sources for the vacuum (40-50 torr). 

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Supporting safe access to cannabis medication