Pesticide Screening

Pesticides are used in commercial cannabis grow operations to kill insects and spiders that thrive on cannabis plants. Pesticides are carcinogenic and mutagenic, causing serious harm to cannabis consumers, especially immuno-compromised medicinal cannabis users. ACS offers the most sensitive and comprehensive pesticide screening and confirmation available utilizing Ultra High-Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC)-Tandem Mass Spectrometry (MS/MS). Offering excellent sensitivity and throughput, the ultra-low detection limits provided by ACS’s proprietary methodology make this technique ideal for the analysis of pesticides commonly employed during cannabis cultivation.


MATRIX: Flowers/Plants, Derivative Products and Edibles
ANALYTES: 67 count


  • Abamectin
  • Acephate
  • Acequinocyl
  • Acetamiprid
  • Aldicarb
  • Azoxystrobin
  • Bifenazate
  • Bifenthrin
  • Boscalid
  • Captan*
  • Carbaryl
  • Carbofuran
  • Chlorantraniliprole
  • Chlordane*
  • Chlorfenapyr*
  • Chlormequat Chloride
  • Chlorpyrifos
  • Clofentezine
  • Coumaphos*
  • Cyfluthrin
  • Cypermethrin
  • Cypermethrin
  • Daminozide
  • Diazinon
  • Dichlorvos (DDVP)
  • Dimethoate
  • Dimethomorph*
  • Ethoprop (hos)
  • Etofenprox
  • Etoxazole
  • Fenhexamid
  • Fenoxycarb
  • Fenpyroximate
  • Fipronil
  • Flonicamid
  • Fludioxonil*
  • Hexythiazox
  • Imazalil
  • Imidacloprid
  • Kresoxim-methyl
  • Malathion
  • Metalaxyl
  • Methiocarb
  • Methomyl
  • Methyl-_Parathion*
  • Mevinphos
  • Myclobutanil (Eagle 20)
  • Naled
  • Oxamyl
  • Paclobutrazol
  • Pentachloronitrobenzene
  • Permethrin
  • Phosmet
  • Piperonyl butoxide
  • Prallethrin
  • Propiconazole (Tilt)
  • Propoxur
  • Pyrethrins
  • Pyridaben
  • Spinosyn A&D
  • Spiromesifen
  • Spirotetramat
  • Spiroxamine
  • Tebuconazole
  • Thiacloprid
  • Thiamethoxam
  • Trifloxystrobin


MATRIX: Flowers/Plants, Derivative Products and Edibles
ANALYTES: 3 count

  • Paraquat
  • Diquat
  • Glyphosate

Glyphosate, paraquat and diquat are types of pesticides known as herbicides, which chemically kill weeds and regulate plant growth. Glyphosate in particular is one of the world’s most widely used herbicides and recently made headlines as the primary toxic chemical in Monsanto’s Roundup fertilizer. In August 2018, jurors voted unanimously that glyphosate in Roundup was responsible for causing a school groundskeeper’s lymphoma. 

But glyphosate is still federally legal in agriculture, and today’s farmers often spray it in conjunction with paraquat or diquat. This double knockdown method ensures that any weeds that survive glyphosate will die once they’ve been sprayed for a second time with paraquat or diquat. Double knockdown also prevents plants from developing glyphosate resistance. But the presence of herbicides can be very harmful to human health. Regardless of how carefully you spray your crop, you can only be sure that your hemp or cannabis product is safe by testing with an accredited laboratory like ACS.

Why It Matters

samples for glyphosate testing


The recent glyphosate (Monsanto) ruling is backed by several scientific studies, which indicate that this herbicide may increase the risk of cancer, with particular links to non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Other research suggests that glyphosate may also be an endocrine disruptor with links to liver disease, birth defects, reproductive issues, and gut health concerns. 

Regarding paraquat, this supplementary herbicide has been shown to be highly toxic by inhalation and moderately toxic when ingested, with research linked to Parkinson’s disease, cancer and lung diseases. Diquat, on the other hand, is lower in toxicity, but may be a moderate to severe eye irritant when applied topically. The bottom line is that the presence of any of these herbicides in cannabis flower, oils or edibles may compromise your brand and put your customer’s health at risk. 

united states map icon


Regarding marijuana, currently there are no federal standards related to pesticide use or testing because it is still federally banned. Hemp, however, is now legal. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently reviewing 10 pesticide applications for use in hemp, with active ingredients the EPA previously determined safe under “any reasonably foreseeable circumstances.” None of the applications contain glyphosate, paraquat or diquat–however, that may change in the coming year.

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At a state level in Florida, pesticides can only be used on medical cannabis if the chemicals are registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture or the federal EPA. Florida law also requires that medical marijuana does not contain pesticides, heavy metals, mycotoxins, molds, and other toxins above the allowable limits as determined by the Department of Agriculture. The Florida Department of Agriculture’s safety limits for pesticides and other contaminants apply to both medical marijuana and hemp extracts. 

Currently the pesticides glyphosate, paraquat or diquat are not regulated by the federal or state government; however, these are proven dangerous. Hemp and cannabis companies must consider testing to ensure their products are free from such contaminants. 


  • Soil
  • Plants
  • Smokable Flower
  • Extracts & Concentrates
  • Edibles
  • Topicals


We test hemp and cannabis plants, flowers, extracts and edibles for paraquat, diquat and glyphosate, along with 67 other pesticides using the liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry LC/MS/MS method. First, we extract pesticides from the samples into a solvent. Then we utilize state-of-the-art machinery to initiate the ionization process where we identify and quantify these pesticides with high specificity.


The process to submit a sample of your flower or product is easy. Plus, if you’re in Florida, you can request our courier service from anywhere in the state. Simply request your test and we’ll review the submission process or arrange to collect a sample right away. 


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