Solvents are commonly used during the extraction of cannabinoids and other desirable compounds from the Cannabis plant, but their presence in the final product should be minimized to ensure consumer safety. Solvents may also find their way into cannabis products through unexpected means, such as packaging or hardware contact.

Residual solvents testing is performed by the following three steps:

  1. Sample Preparation: A representative sample of the Cannabis product is collected and prepared for analysis. This may involve grinding, homogenizing, or extracting the sample to ensure uniformity.
  2. Instrument Analysis: The sample is then analyzed using a specialized analytical technique called headspace gas chromatography mass spectrometry (HS-GC-MS). This technique allows for the identification and quantification of residual solvents present in the sample.
  3. Data Review and Reporting: The concentration of any detected residual solvents sample is compared against established regulatory limits or guidelines. The lab then generates a report that includes the results of the analysis, indicating whether the sample meets the acceptable standards for residual solvents content.

Common residual solvents tested in Cannabis products include butane, propane, ethanol, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). These solvents can pose health risks if present above certain thresholds.

Residual solvents testing ensures that Cannabis products are free from potentially harmful solvent residues, thus promoting consumer safety and product quality. It is an important aspect of the overall quality control process in the Cannabis industry.
List of solvents measured:

  • Acetone, Acetonitrile, Benzene, Butanes (n-Butane, iso-Butane), Chloroform, Dichloromethane, Ethanol, Ethyl Acetate, Ethyl Ether, Heptane, Hexanes (n-Hexane, 2-Methylpentane, 3-Methylpentane, 2,2-Dimethylbutane, 2,3-Dimethylbutane), Isopropyl Acetate, Methanol, Pentanes (n-Pentane, iso-Pentane, neo-Pentane), 2-Propanol (IPA), Propane, Toluene, Xylenes (1,2-Dimethylbenzene, 1,3-Dimethylbenzene, 1,4-Dimethylbenzene, Ethyl benzene)


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