Services

TERPENE PROFILE

Terpenes are aromatic molecules responsible for the unique aroma of each cannabis product. The aromas and flavors we experience when we consume cannabis are thanks to terpenes, but more importantly, many of the medical benefits that patients experience are also due to terpenes.

Highgrade Labs is one of the only labs in the country that can analyze 42 different terpenes in the flower and concentrate products. We are able to test Flower, Concentrates and Infused Products.

What instrument do we use?
Liquid injection auto-samapler with GC-FID from Agilent Technologies.
What products can we test?
Flower, Concentrates, Infused Products.
Why is this test important?
The combination of cannabinoid and terpene profiles can contribute to the entourage effect. A terpene breakdown can serve as useful to patients looking to identify additional products with similar profiles and psychological responses.
Why potency isn't everything:

Many people believe that potency (i.e. high THC) drives the value of cannabis products, especially flower and concentrates, to consumers and patients. After extensive work analyzing over 30,000 samples, we at Highgrade believe that specific terpene profiles of cannabis products are the real drivers of physiological responses.

CANNABINOID POTENCY

Cannabinoid potency testing measures the strength and composition of finished products. Highgrade is able to identify and quantify potency content for 11 cannabinoids. This is one of our most popular services.

What instrument do we use?
Cannabis samples are extracted using a methanol solution and are analyzed using a 1260 Infinity II HPLC with a diode array detector from Agilent.
What cannabinoids do we test for?

THCA, THC-Δ9, THC-Δ8, THCV, CBD, CBDV, CBGA, CBG, CBC, CBDA and CBN.

What products can we test?
Flower, Concentrates, Infused Products.
Why testing for potency is important:
Proper dosing is vital to any patient treatment plan. Therefore, test reliability to ensure accuracy in product labeling and formulation is a critical component of patient care.

RESIDUAL SOLVENTS

The goal of the residual solvents testing is to detect and quantify any solvent in a cannabis extract that may be left over from the extraction process. Some of the solvents tested for include butane, propane, and isopropanol. The scope of testing available varies depending on the regulatory requirements of the state.

What instrument do we use?

Headspace gas chromatography (HS GC-MS) from Agilent Technologies.

What products can we test?
Concentrates and Infused Products.
Why testing for residual solvents is important:
Trace amounts of solvents can be present in concentrates from the extraction process. High concentrations of certain solvents can be harmful if consumed. Screening formulated products for residual solvents help ensure solvent presence is below a threshold considered safe for consumption.

MICROBIALS

Microorganisms and bacteria are everywhere in our world. They often can grow under the same conditions as cannabis and if consumed, these contaminants could lead to serious illness.

Highgrade Labs microbial screening ensures organisms’ presence are below a threshold considered safe for consumption.

What is our testing process?

We use both 3M Petrifilm plates and an Agilent AriaMX real-time PCR to test for microbial contamination. Call your state lab to talk about what specific microbial tests are required for you and how we test for them.

What products can we test?
Flower, Concentrates, Infused Products.

HEAVY METALS

Heavy metals can be found in soil, water supply, and in many nutrients used by industry participants. Cannabis is prone to absorbing heavy metals and can cause metals to bioaccumulate in the plant structure. Highgrade Labs heavy metals screening helps to ensure metal presence is below limits considered for safe consumption.
What instrument do we use?

Heavy metals testing is performed on a 7800 ICP-MS from Agilent.

All samples are prepared and extracted using acid-assisted microwave digestion, on a Milestone Ethos Up, to dissolve the sample before being placed on the ICP-MS.

What products can we test?

In addition to Flower, Concentrates and Infused Products, we also help industry professionals test their nutrients and soils to find the source of any contamination

Mycotoxins

Our method confirms that any toxins present are below the allowable limits.

What instrument do we use?
We use liquid chromatography with mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) from Agilent Technologies.
What products can we test?
Flower, Concentrates, Infused Products.
Why testing for mycotoxins is important:

Mycotoxins are toxic secondary metabolites produced by fungi. Mycotoxin screening ensures toxins presence is below a threshold considered safe for consumption.

Lipids

Vitamin E acetate, vegetable glycerol, propylene glycol, and other lipids are additives that can be found in some vape products. These lipids can upset the natural function of surfactants protecting the lungs. An accumulation of lipids in the lungs could lead to pneumonia or death.

What instrument do we use?
Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS) from Agilent Technologies.
What products can we test?
Vape products
Why testing for Vitamin E Acetate is important:

Recent investigations by the CDC and FDA have linked vitamin E acetate to thousands of lung injury cases across the United States. Screening vape products for Vitamin E Acetate and other additives helps to ensure products are safe for consumption.

Water Activity

Water activity is a measurement of bioavailable water, which is water that is available outside of the cells of the sample.

This test helps to determine the shelf stability of your cannabis product. It’s one of our most helpful services!

The measurement is determined by dividing the vapor pressure of water in a substance at a specific temperature by the vapor pressure of pure water at the same temperature.

What instrument do we use?

Aqualab 3 from Meter Group

What products can we test?

Flower, Edibles

Why testing for water activity is important:
Samples should have a water activity (Aw) of less than 0.65, as recommended by the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia. Water activity (Aw) at high levels can support microbial growth. Call your state lab to ask about required testing in your state.

Pesticides

Highgrade Labs performs pesticide residue testing in accordance with the regulatory requirements of each state within which it is licensed. Platforms and methods were developed and tailored to the requirements of each state program in order to exceed specific minimum detection limits established for recognized hazards.

What instrument do we use?
Liquid Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (LC-MS/MS),Gas Chromatography-Mass Spectrometry (GC-MS/MS) from Agilent Technologies.
What products can we test?
Flower, Concentrates, and Infused Products.
Why testing for pesticides is important:
Pesticides on an apple can be washed off with no harm to the consumer. But pesticides on cannabis that are then exposed to high heat can turn into hydrogen cyanide and other deadly poisons