February 1st 2021
In 1970, marijuana was designated a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substances Act, making it nearly impossible for laboratories to perform cannabis research. However, medicinal use of cannabis is now legal in Canada and 36 U.S. states, with more joining every year. With the passage of the Farm Bill in 2018, it is now federally legal to grow and process hemp in all 50 states. All of this interest in medical cannabis and CBD has highlighted the need for good analysis methodology in this relatively young market. Cannabis analysis is still developing standardized protocols, requirements, and acceptable testing practices.
Typical testing requirements for cannabis and its products include heavy metal analysis, pesticide residue, and the potency of active ingredients such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). The terpene content of cannabis is also important. Terpenes have been shown to have beneficial uses for treatment of conditions ranging from cancer and inflammation to anxiety and sleeplessness. It is believed that the combination of terpenes and cannabinoids in cannabis produce a synergistic effect with regard to medical benefits, further elevating its popularity worldwide.