Water activity is a crucial parameter that directly affects the stability and shelf life of Cannabis products. It refers to the measurement of the free water present in the product, which is available for microbial growth and chemical reactions.

Water activity is measured on a scale ranging from 0 to 1, with 0 representing a completely dry and moisture-free environment, and 1 indicating the presence of pure water. Microorganisms, including bacteria, yeasts, and molds, require a certain level of water activity to grow and multiply. By controlling the water activity, the growth of these microorganisms can be effectively inhibited, reducing the risk of product contamination and spoilage.

Water activity testing is typically performed using specialized instruments known as water activity meters or aw meters. These devices utilize various techniques to measure the equilibrium relative humidity (ERH) of a sample. The ERH is the relative humidity level at which the water activity of the sample is in equilibrium with the surrounding environment.

A small sample of Cannabis or Cannabis product is placed inside the water activity meter, and the instrument measures the ERH by equilibrating the sample with different humidity levels. The water activity value is then determined based on the ERH measurement. The water activity meter provides a numerical value that indicates the availability of water in the sample.

Water activity testing is essential for Cannabis products as it helps assess their potential for microbial growth and deterioration. High water activity levels can promote the growth of bacteria, molds, and yeasts, leading to product spoilage, loss of potency, and potential health risks. By measuring and monitoring water activity, potential risks associated with microbial contamination can be identified and addressed.

In addition to microbial growth, water activity also plays a crucial role in chemical reactions that can impact the quality and stability of cannab

By monitoring and controlling water activity, Cannabis cultivators, processors, and manufacturers can maintain the integrity and quality of their products. Water activity testing provides valuable information that allows for appropriate product formulation, packaging, and storage conditions to be determined. By measuring and controlling water activity, the risk of microbial contamination and product spoilage can be minimized, ensuring the longevity of Cannabis products in the market.

At present, the Arizona Department of Health Services does not require water activity testing, but our Arizona Cannabis testing laboratory offers this service as an informational test for our clients.

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