Welcome back to another top 5!
Today we are counting down the top 5 things labs test cannabis for in Oregon. We compiled this list with help from Green Leaf Labs. Due to the language of the Oregon laws, all cannabis sold has to have laboratory testing in 5 key areas. There are of course a myriad of other tests that labs can conduct but the 5 we are talking about are all approved by the state. So let’s just jump right in.
5. Residual Solvents
These are normally found in processed cannabis products such as BHO, PHO, RSO and Honey oils. The CO2 and ice screening methods are the most common forms of solvent free extract. BHO uses butane as a solvent and if there is any left in the product it isn’t pretty. PHO uses propane as a solvent and if there is any left inside when you consume it, it can do more harm than good. Every customer facing product should have passed a residual solvent test. This isn’t currently required to show but that can change any day as the OHA and OLCC are still finalizing regulations.
We are surrounded by molds, fungi and other microorganisms. Most are harmless, living and dying on a scale that humans have only recently learned to perceive. Other organisms are outright dangerous and can be devastating to immune-deficient patients like those with bronchitis or AIDS. The state has a pass/fail policy on molds and fungus. That means that all products with a pass on their lab work left the lab with levels believed to be safe. There is no way to eliminate all microorganisms and it would be bad if we did. At the same time, keeping the level of organisms low ensures a product that will help heal and not harm. Never smoke cannabis that has been in contact with visible mold. The stuff is hard enough to protect yourself from when you can’t see it, might as well not invite mold into your soft squishy body.
Have you ever heard of Agent Orange or Round-Up? These chemicals are simply examples of pesticides that either are or were used widely in the United States. Chances are, if you own a home, you have some pesticide laying around somewhere. The fact of the matter is, pesticides in commercial farming are no joke.
There has been massive controversy over farming practices since we have record and commercial farmers have big incentive to douse their crops in the deadliest stuff there is. Pesticide is used to kill pests. Kill. Not maim, not discomfort, not ask politely, kill. It’s a war and only one of us gets the spoils, sacrifices must be made. If the pests are allowed to run free, we don’t get to eat.
On the other hand, I’m not into getting and aneurysm from my cherries. I eat them cuz they are tasty and ‘healthy’. Death from cherry is not something I am a fan of, unless it’s a type of ice cream. In the end, the less pesticides the better and Oregon has a list of ones that are banned.
Terpenes are the ‘fingerprint’ of cannabis. They influence the aroma, taste, intensity, and longevity of cannabis. Love the piney smell of Jack Herer or the distinct orange of Tangie? The biggest difference is the terpenes. Facilities like Green Leaf Labs can determine the terpene profile of a given sample. This test isn’t required to display. It is uncommon to display terpene profiles on flower but is becoming more common on high end concentrates. Some of the most common terpenes are (in no particular order): Myrcene, Linalool, Limonene, Terinolene, Carene, Eucalyptol, Caryophyllene, Humulene, and Bisbolol. These compounds have synergistic effects with each other as well as THC and CBD.
Every cannabis plant has hundreds of active chemical compounds that interact with your body’s chemistry. The most common compound to find in cannabis is either THC or CBD. THC is the one that gets you high and CBD doesn’t. Potency on any given strain can vary from plant to plant and grow to grow, even from the same grower. Labs assign a % to the cannabis they test against a standard measure. The higher the percentage, the more of the compound is present.
You can find potency information printed on the label of any cannabis containing product from a dispensary. Flower, concentrate and edibles all have different concentrations and absorption patterns so be aware that the dose adjusts accordingly. The highest THC potency I have seen recently was a 95.5% THC ¼ gram concentrate. The stuff is white as a ghost. That level of THC would get Snoop, Cheech or Willie going for sure. I can’t wait for June 2 so non-licensed users will be able to get quality concentrate and medibles. Here there be dragons friends. You have been warned.