Third Party Laboratory Testing: Understanding Heavy Metals
Are you looking forward to joining the hemp industry and becoming successful? The secret to growing your business into a large brand is stocking high-quality cannabis products.
As the industry grows rapidly and becomes more competitive, it is important to note that some manufacturers and suppliers have resorted to giving wrong information on their product labels.
Therefore, you cannot simply trust what is put on the product label or ads. Instead, the best way to be sure that the cannabis products you stock are of high-quality is through testing in a third party laboratory.
According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the cannabis products that you sell should be free from heavy metals, among other harmful contaminants. In this post, we will take a closer look at the heavy metals to understand what they are, the harm they cause, and how to identify the safe products to stock in your store.
Heavy Metals: Why Should You Be Concerned?
Today, one of the main concerns is the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), which started in Wuhan, China and then spread rapidly across the globe. Since March 2020, COVID-19 has spread to almost every country around the world, leaving a trail of death and numerous infections. By early July 2020, infections from COVID-19 had reached 12 million, while deaths had surpassed 500,000.
In addition to COVID-19, cannabis product sellers should take heavy metals very seriously. This will help you to avoid getting into conflict with the law, especially the requirements of the FDA. Here are other reasons why you should work with third party labs to ensure your cannabis products are free from heavy metals.
- Heavy metals have damaging effects when they get into the human body.
- Most customers expect that the products you stock are free from harmful components, such as heavy metals.
- With heavy metal-free cannabis products, it is easy to stand out in the industry and build your brand.
What Does the Law Say about Heavy Metals?
While the Farm Bill that opened the gates to open trading in cannabis products was more focused on the levels of psychoactive components, especially tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), it does not exempt hemp products from other regulations about quality. FDA requires that all cannabis products should have no or very low levels of heavy metals. Here are the maximum levels of heavy metals that should not be exceeded in any cannabis product.
|Cadmium||0.2 μg/g||0.5 μg/g|
|Arsenic||0.2 μg/g||1.5 μg/g|
|Lead||0.5 μg/g||0.5 μg/g|
|Mercury||0.1 μg/g||3.0 μg/g|
How Third Party Laboratories Work
The best way to establish the presence of heavy metals and their quantities is working with third party labs. These are organizations accredited to offer testing services, which help to determine the constituents of a sample presented to them. Note that in addition to testing heavy metals, the laboratories can also check the cannabinoid profile, presence of organic solvents, and bio-contaminants.
- Methods of testing heavy metals in laboratories
When you take a sample to a third party lab for testing, it is considered a representative of the respective batch you intend to order from a supplier or manufacturer. So, it is better to order a small sample for testing before making the decision to buy or not.
In a third-party laboratory, the sample is dissolved and heavy metals tested using the best technology, including LC-MS/MS and GC-MS/MS. The testing is mainly done on Class 1 and Class 2A elements impurities. The sample can also be tested for Class 2B and 3 impurities on request.
Heavy metals are some of the most harmful elements when they accumulate in a human body. It is not just against the law, but unethical to sell cannabis products with heavy metals. So, make sure to subject your cannabis product samples to a third party lab for further testing to ensure that only those free from heavy metals, pesticides, and other contaminants make it to your shelves.