In this post –
- How it Works
- How Accurate is the Test
- What are the Benefits
- Benefits for Growers
- Benefits for Product Manufactures
- In-House Safety Testing
- Do I Still Need a Third-Party Lab Test
Why would a third party laboratory want to give away the secret to its sauce? In the name of sound science–and of course–good old fashioned partnership.
“Some of our major clients asked for the capability to conduct R&D testing in-house and they wanted to be able to do it accurately. This program allows us to share our process while strengthening our relationships,” said Roger Brown, President of ACS Laboratory.
That’s why the ACS team decided to launch a how-to training program about a year ago. This initiative allows ACS to share our systems, procedures and technology so clients can conduct potency tests in-house. From manufacturers to medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs), we train hemp, CBD and cannabis clients to use our exact systems and procedures to test for CBD and other cannabinoid potency-levels. With the ability to accurately spot-test in-house, customers can feel confident in their product’s quality, safety and compliance–all while saving money and maximizing profitability.
“No other third party laboratory I know provides this kind of service,” said Roger.
Who it’s For & How it Works?
This program is perfect for large-scale hemp and CBD manufacturers along with medical marijuana treatment centers (MMTCs). Ideal companies already have R+D labs onsite and the ability to purchase and operate the equipment we use at ACS. Once they have the Liquid Chromatography machinery with UV detectors in place, our clients send their staff to ACS to be trained by our experienced Chemists for a full day of in-depth training.. Training includes access to our written protocols, procedures, and SOPs, which the client may keep indefinitely. But the education doesn’t end there. After training, we remain available via phone to continuously answer questions as they arise. If we can empower clients to identify and quantify cannabinoids throughout the development process, they can experience extraordinary results.
How Accurate is The Test?
With standard at-home potency kits, results vary by +- 5%. However, if growers and producers follow ACS’s protocols, they can reduce the variance to +- 2%. This level of reliable precision is invaluable in the realm of R+D testing.
What are the Benefits?
Companies need to test frequently during the growth and production phases to enhance formulas, verify expected results, and ensure their product is legally compliant. With the ability to test in-house, hemp and cannabis companies get immediate accurate results without having to pay a third-party-laboratory. This empowers companies to take R+D into their own hands and pivot their growth or development strategies based on real-time results.
Benefits for Growers
We recommend all hemp and cannabis cultivators conduct regular potency tests throughout the growth cycle. These tests ensure that the plants are developing with the concentration of cannabinoids the grower expects. With the ability to frequently analyze their crops, growers can ensure they are compliant and profitable.
Despite a seed’s genetics, plants don’t always behave the way we expect. That means growers face the risk of having to destroy an entire yield, if they accidentally produce a crop with over 0.3% THC. The problem is that THC levels reach their pinnacle just after CBD spikes. So growers must closely monitor and frequently test to ensure they don’t cross the line between potent and illegal. By testing in-house, growers can learn more about how the strain matures from seed to flower to prevent accidentally surpassing the 0.3% threshold.
Often growers have distribution contracts in place before they put seeds to soil. These agreements are based on expected potency of CBD, THC and potentially minor cannabinoids such as CBN, THCV, and CBG. By testing their plant using in-house equipment, growers can intelligently predict the value of their crops–and adjust their business plans accordingly.
Benefits for Product Manufacturers
Just as in-house testing helps growers optimize their harvest, it also helps hemp and cannabis companies produce a high-quality product.
From vapes and oils, to edibles and beverages every product relies on accurate potency testing to prove the label claims and ensure that customers are getting the effects they desire. And if the product is not up to par, in-house testing gives companies the opportunity to reformulate before sending final samples to a laboratory for compliance testing. In-house testing also allows manufacturers to easily reproduce the formula (once perfected), providing consistent quality that is vital to succeed in this competitive market.
What About In-House Safety Testing?
Safety tests such as those that analyze heavy metals, pesticides, molds, & mildew are highly complex and require advanced capabilities and machinery. Currently our in-house training focuses on potency testing only, for up to 16 cannabinoids.
Do I Still Need a Third-Party Laboratory Test?
In-house testing saves money because it means companies can monitor their plant and product development without paying for third-party R&D testing. However, companies must still work with independent laboratories to ensure their product is compliant with state and federal laws. For example, the USDA requires hemp companies to test with verified laboratories to confirm their plot is under the legal limit of THC. Additionally, Florida requires hemp and medical cannabis companies to publish test results from third party laboratories to verify the contents of their labels.
At ACS, we are thrilled to help hemp and cannabis businesses improve business decisions, save money, and stay competitive in an increasingly saturated market. We believe science is not ours to own, but ours to share so we can promote consistency, reliability and consumer confidence. Unfortunately, many businesses may be contracting due to the COVID-19 epidemic; ACS Laboratory has been deemed an essential business; we continue to test both cannabis and hemp using the strictest protocols that we have always adhered to being a Clinical grade laboratory.