Lab Director - Phoenix AZ, Cannabis Testing Services
Testing for microbial contaminants mimics the USDA and FDA procedures for food safety testing.
Cannabis plant material, extracts, and infused products can be exposed to harmful bacteria and fungi during cultivation and processing. This is in turn represents a potential risk to patients and consumers. For example, inhalation of Cannabis contaminated with Aspergillus spp. may have serious effects, especially on immunocompromised users1. Aspergillus spp. thrive in humid environments common to Cannabis cultivation. Stagnant airflows and poor hygiene practices are just a couple of factors that contribute to potential contamination. Following a method certified by the AOAC, we utilize the molecular biology technique of real-time PCR (also referred to as RT-PCR, or qPCR) to independently identify four species of pathogenic Aspergillus spp. (A. flavus, A. fumigatus, A. niger, A. terreus) in just one reaction.
Salmonella can be spread by workers handling Cannabis and Cannabis product, especially infused edible products, who do not wash their hands and/or the surfaces and tools they use between preparation steps. E. coli can also be contracted by eating contaminated Cannabis and Cannabis products.
ADHS medical marijuana program rules require testing for E. coli and Salmonella spp. in all Cannabis and Cannabis products. Inhalable products, including but not limited to Cannabis flower, vape cartridges, and pre-rolls, are also required to be tested for Aspergillus spp.