Shelf Life and Stability

Customers shop for brands whose products they trust. The products should contain high quality ingredients that match the label and are safe to consume. Like all consumable goods, cannabis and hemp quality can degrade over time due to conditions such as temperature, lighting, air and humidity. Through shelf life and stability testing, you can discover how environmental conditions may affect your product’s potency, contamination, color, odor, and moisture.

 

SHELF LIFE & STABILITY

MATRIX: Flowers/Plants, Derivative Products and Edibles
ANALYTES: Stability Chamber

 

 At ACS Laboratory, we conduct real-time and accelerated shelf life and stability testing at 3 months, 6 months and 12 months so you can accurately define the life of your product. This allows you to determine shelf life; which is the number of days the product remains stable based on recommended storage conditions. Armed with that knowledge, you can give customers the confidence they need to purchase and safely store your product.   

 

Why it matters: 

When a hemp or cannabis product degrades over time it can lose potency of THC, CBD and other cannabinoids. Under certain conditions like air oxidation, it can also unexpectedly increase in other cannabinoids. The same rule applies to terpene potency as well. That means your product may not function, smell, or taste as expected when stored improperly or beyond its recommended shelf life. 

 

Moreover, exposure to humidity can cause an increase in moisture that may lead to development of mold and mildew. Packaging is another factor that can degrade or contaminate your product over time, potentially putting your customer’s health at risk.  

 

Compliance

Currently there are no federal standards related to stability and shelf life testing for cannabis because marijuana is still federally outlawed. Hemp CBD however, is now federally legal and the FDA is currently investigating regulations related to dietary supplements, food, and cosmetics. In the interim, we adhere to the FDA’s previous stability testing standards for new drug substances and products

 

At a state level in Florida, The Department of Health determined that medical cannabis edibles must include the expiration date on their labels. Regarding hemp and CBD, Florida is in the process of establishing rules via the state hemp CBD program. In that bill, the Florida Senate proposed that product manufacturers, packers or distributors label products with the expiration date, which it defines as:

 

“expiration date” means the month and year as determined by the manufacturer, packer, or distributor on the basis of tests or other information showing that the product, until that date, under the conditions of handling, storage, preparation, and use per label directions, will contain not less than the quantity of each ingredient as set forth on its label.”

 

What we test:

We test cannabis and hemp:

Smokable Flower

Extracts & concentrates

Edibles 

What we test for: 

 

Qualitative 

Color 

Odor

Appearance

  

 

Quantitative  

Moisture

pH Level

Water Activity 

Potency

Terpenes

Microbiology

Mycotoxins

Heavy Metals

  

 

How we test:

We conduct accelerated and real-time and stability tests using advanced stability chambers. During a real-time test, we analyze products at the recommended environmental conditions and monitor for them for the full duration of the requested shelf life test. During an accelerated test, we speed up the normal aging process by storing the product at elevated external conditions, such as higher temperatures, pH and humidity. Then we determine the rate of degradation, which we use to predict the recommended storage lengths. 

 

Often regulators prefer real-time stability tests because they are more precise, but real-time tests are also more time consuming. In order to expedite the process, customers often request both tests so that they can proceed to market while waiting for the real-time results. 

 

Shelf-Life-Graph

How to submit a sample for testing:

The process to submit a sample of your flower or product is easy. Plus, if you live 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.