Understanding The Issues With Potency Testing In The Hemp Industry
With each passing day, the hemp industry continues to develop and innovate leading to a gap in potency testing. Almost every single facility is seeing this concern due to the lack of cannabinoid potency tests. Yet, the states are starting to tighten their guidelines for what is permitted and what is not when it comes to running a hemp business. This means setting rigorous guidelines for what needs to be standardized in the industry. Each state has its rules for how the lab needs to be set up and what standards need to be met including how the machines function. Since there is still a lack of testing in place, this means there is too much room for mistakes to be made and corners to be cut. The legalities around what is permitted are also not as clear-cut as it should be leading to major concerns about what works and what doesn’t. Potency testing continues to be a problem in the industry but that doesn’t mean it can’t be improved upon.
Why is Potency Testing a Concern in the Hemp Industry?
The issue has to do with cannabinoids because potency testing isn’t as easy with these compounds. There is always going to be a natural deviation to account from when it comes to cannabinoids and that is what makes it harder to regulate. Why are so many companies not on top of things from the word go? Why are customers not taking the time to recognize what they are buying and how it is being tested?
In general, testing centers have a variety of protocols and/or machines that are used during the production process. This leads to errors when it comes to any type of potency test. Most facilities look towards Gas Chromatography as it is budget-friendly and simpler but that also means it is not as accurate as required. In most cases, this method involves the use of what is called a Flame Ionization Detector as that is what causes major concerns involving degradation. Are you someone that has taken the time to wonder why products remain just under the strength guidelines? It often is as simple as the testing process diminishing the cannabinoids in the product because of how the method works.
Not only is it inaccurate, but Gas Chromatography also requires additional equipment to make sure the cannabinoids are recognized appropriately. This is a procedure called Derivatization and it is difficult to validate. Another method is called High Performance Liquid Chromatography and it is often used as a way to identify and measure cannabinoids with the use of an infrared wavelength detector. This is well-appreciated as being the best testing method in the world for this situation and should be used across the board in the hemp industry.
If the tests aren’t as comprehensive as they need to be, this is only going to cause the hemp industry to continue churning out ineffective products that don’t follow the established guidelines. This leads to uncertainty for everyone involved in the process and may also lead to mistakes over the long haul. It is all about clarity and when that isn’t present, it can cause products to plummet and push companies out of business.
The Media Doesn’t Help Reduce The Confusion
Unfortunately, the media doesn’t help when it comes to hemp products and often state there isn’t enough CBD in current products. This is common across different types of media outlets and can often make the industry seem shady. What they don’t realize is, the lack of CBD oil isn’t a problem that is going to carry weight nor is it getting the root cause of what is going on. Instead, most products that are being tested are using tests that aren’t accurate, so the numbers being cited are wrong. The numbers need to be accurate and that begins with responsible reporting from the media while a new industry continues to grow.
What Can Be Done For This Problem?
It is all about focusing on potential biases that are present in the process and start analyzing everything. This includes recognizing what is being put out by the media when it comes to dissecting lab reports and what these data sets mean. It is important to use judgment when it comes to analyzing the information put in front of you. It is best to avoid using a single source for data. Instead, look for multiple sources, compare data sets, and then see what the trends are like.
Lab tests are often misunderstood by the public and are easily used as an iron-clad metric for what’s right or wrong. However, lab tests are still tests that can involve errors along the way.
Always take the time to go with a company that puts in the effort to run multiple tests. A good company such as Silver Shadow is renowned for running multiple lab tests on the same batches. We have been around for years and continue to maintain multiple certificates of analysis to help retain multiple data sets on each batch. This includes analyzing the raw materials, wholesale process, and retail products down to the last detail as transparently as possible.