There are many factors that make it important for companies to test cannabis flower and manufactured products. Among them are mold and mycotoxins. These common contaminants hold many major risks to cultivators and consumers alike.
Read on to learn exactly how mycotoxins and mold can be harmful, the cause of these fungi, and how powerful technology can have a remediating solution.
Identifying Mold, Mildew, & Mycotoxins
Firstly, there are plenty of different reasons cannabis may have mold or mycotoxins present. No matter the cause, these types of fungi are toxic. They can severely harm consumers if smoked or ingested.
Oftentimes, factors such as certain farming methods and/or unique climates can influence the growth of mold or mycotoxins within the plant. Additionally, some phenotypes may be more susceptible to mold and powdery mildew.
During cannabis cultivation, powdery mildew or mold can also be caused by higher levels of humidity and moisture in the air. Even after harvest – during the drying, curing, or manufacturing stages – improper storage and poor quality control can induce mold or mildew on the buds.
Therefore, it’s crucial for cannabis to be screened and tested before setting out into the retail market for consumption, as the risk of mold or mycotoxins can be harmful to consumers.
- Mycotoxins are a varied grouping of toxic secondary metabolites produced by fungi that can cause great harm, due to their chemical makeup.
- Botrytis, also known as bud rot, is one of the most common pathogenic fungi found in cannabis plants. It can affect all parts of the plant, but more specifically, it harbors toxic chemicals or compounds within the buds.
Testing & Remediation of Mycotoxins in Cannabis
Furthermore, considering the vitality of cannabis testing in regards to consumer health, the regulations around mycotoxin and mold testing are cohesively stringent across the country.
Common types of mycotoxins: aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, G2, and ochratoxin A.
At Highgrade Labs, we use liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) from Agilent Technologies. This is to ensure all toxins present are below a threshold considered safe for consumption.
- The cannabis flower or products go through a process that utilizes liquid chromatography. This process separates, identifies, and quantifies all existing components, including any levels of mycotoxins.
- Oftentimes, these levels can be remediated using a binding agent and fluorometry (the process of creating an intense wavelength of fluorescent light in order to distribute a spectrum that identifies the levels of mycotoxins in parts per million).
These days, the process of identifying/remediating mycotoxins is offered via many different lab methods and innovative technologies. Some methods of mycotoxin remediation include separating the plant matter and toxic compounds using solvent agents.
Yet among the various ways to go about testing cannabis for mycotoxins and mold, it’s important to understand that doing so is paramount within the scope of cannabis processing.
Highgrade Labs: Quality Cannabis Testing Services
At Highgrade Labs, we offer award-winning cannabis testing and analytical services. They are intended to provide you with transparent and accurate knowledge about your cannabis flower or manufactured products.
This includes testing for such factors as potency, terpene and cannabinoid content, pesticides, residual solvents, and heavy metals.
What’s more, throughout our mycotoxin testing process, we meticulously examine your products to also ensure all levels of any toxins present are below the allowable limits — all with the safety and quality of the consumer in mind.
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