Cannabis Testing

The cannabinoids found in the Cannabis plant, commonly referred to as marijuana, have grown in popularity for treating a variety of ailments from arthritis, glaucoma and chronic pain to malnutrition, multiple sclerosis and cancer.1 Whether smoked, consumed in food, applied as a cosmetic, or concentrated in a pill, cannabinoids found in Cannabis vary in potency, type, and specific therapeutic benefit. Medical cannabinoids present many challenges to the analytical lab, including difficulties in handling, raw material sourcing, and the classification of many cannabinoids as controlled substances.2

As of June, 2014, 22 states and the District of Columbia of the United States (US) as well as Canada and various European countries, have passed laws allowing Cannabis to be used for medical applications.3 Currently, laws regulating manufacturing practices and quality standards of Cannabis source materials are few or non-existent and vary widely among jurisdictions. In order to alleviate patient concerns regarding the efficacy and safety of Cannabis derived therapeutics, cannabinoid containing products must undergo quality control testing.

Cerilliant® pioneered commercially available certified solution standards and US DEA exempt solution standards of controlled substances including cannabinoids. Cerilliant® together, with the Supelco®, Sigma-Aldrich® brands, offer the broadest selection of Cannabis testing Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) and analytical standards for cannabinoids, terpenes, mycotoxins, heavy metals, pesticides and residual solvents.

These reference standards and CRMs are suitable for numerous applications including potency analysis, impurity identification, contaminant testing, clinical toxicology, and forensic analysis. Cerilliant® solution-based CRMs are certified to the highest industry standards including ISO Guide 34, ISO/IEC 17025, and ISO 13485. Cerilliant® Snap-N-Spike® certified solution standards are supported by a comprehensive Certificate of Analysis (COA) which provides all analytical data from full neat material characterization and solution standard verification to uncertainty and traceability information to support your laboratory’s regulatory requirements.

Medicinal Cannabinoids

Cannabinoids are a class of psychoactive and non-psychoactive compounds produced in the Cannabis (marijuana) plant. In recent years, these compounds have shown potential therapeutic efficacy in the treatment of pain, mood disorders, and inflammatory diseases. Since the concentration of medically important cannabinoids in Cannabis can fluctuate through various stages of plant growth, it is imperative for patients that Cannabis cultivators ensure cannabinoid identity as well as consistent purity and concentration.1

Cerilliant® offers a wide selection of the most commonly analyzed medical and recreational cannabinoids. Each cannabinoid reference standard is supplied in a convenient, quantitative, US DEA-exempt solution. Cerilliant reference standards are manufactured and certified to the highest industry standards including ISO Guide 34 and ISO/IEC 17025. Each Certified Spiking Solution® is supported by a comprehensive Certificate of Analysis (COA) which provides all analytical data and uncertainty and traceability information to support regulatory requirements.

References

  1. Elsohly MA. Marijuana and the Cannabinoids. New Jersey, Humana Press Inc, 2007

Terpenes

Terpenes are the primary aromatic constituents of Cannabis resin and essential oils. These compounds vary in type and concentration among different genetic lineages of Cannabis and have been shown to modulate and modify the therapeutic and psychoactive effects of cannabinoids.1 Therefore, the analysis of terpenes is critical to ensuring Cannabis strain identity and medical efficacy.

The Sigma-Aldrich Cerilliant®, Sigma® and Aldrich® brands offer a broad selection of analytical reference standards for the terpenes most routinely analyzed in Cannabis testing applications. For a complete listing of terpene reference standards visit:

http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/analytical-chromatography/analytical-products.html?TablePage=9646760

References

  1. Russo EB, Taming THC: potential cannabis synergy and phytocannabinoid-terpenoid entourage effects. Br J Pharmacol. 2011 Aug;163(7):1344-64. doi: 10.1111/j.14765381.2011.01238.x

Pesticides

Through its Cerilliant® and Supelco® brands, Sigma-Aldrich offers an extensive line of pesticide Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) and analytical grade standards, including for those pesticides most routinely monitored in Cannabis testing applications. The use of pesticides during any stage of Cannabis cultivation is prohibited in the United States and in many European countries.1 To comply with regulatory agencies and to ensure the safety and therapeutic efficacy of medicinal Cannabis, Cannabis crops as well as Cannabis derived products must be monitored for pesticide residues.

Cerilliant® pesticide CRMs are designed, produced, and verified for accuracy and stability in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO Guide 34. For a complete listing of pesticide reference standards visit:

http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/pesticides

References

  1. Sullivan N, Elzinga S, and Raber JC. Determination of Pesticide Residues in Cannabis Smoke. Journal of Toxicology, vol. 2013, Article ID 378168, 6 pages, 2013. doi:10.1155/2013/378168

Residual Solvents

Cannabis concentrates and blends are often extracted using organic solvents that can negatively impact product quality, potency, and human health. These solvents are difficult to visually detect and necessitate the use of chromatographic techniques such as GC Headspace. Sigma-Aldrich, through its Cerilliant® brand, offers Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) for the analysis of residual solvents in Cannabis testing applications.

Cerilliant® residual solvent CRMs are designed, produced, and verified for accuracy and stability in accordance with ISO/IEC 17025 and ISO Guide 34. Cerilliant® residual solvent CRMs are also NIST Traceable, manufactured in accordance with ISO 13485, and compliant with ISO 17511 and ISO 15194.

Mycotoxins

Due to unique morphological characteristics, medical Cannabis plants are more susceptible to fungal contamination than Cannabis plants grown for non-medical use.1 The presence of fungi on Cannabis can result in the production of toxic, secondary fungal metabolites known as mycotoxins. These toxins, even in minute amounts at the ppb level, can pose a serious threat to pulmonary or immunocompromised patients.2

The Sigma-Aldrich Supelco® brands offer a wide variety of Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) and analytical standards for the mycotoxins most routinely monitored in Cannabis testing applications. For a comprehensive list of mycotoxin reference standards including single and multi-component standard solutions,13C-isotope labeled internal standards, and CRMs please visit:

http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/mycotoxins

Heavy Metals

Heavy metals are a class of toxicants that cause adverse affects on human health. Heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, lead, and mercury are persistent once released into the environment and can accumulate in Cannabis plants. Cannabis based products including edibles, oils, tinctures and salves, therefore, must be tested for the presence of heavy metals to ensure patient safety and product quality. The Sigma-Aldrich brand offers an extensive line of TraceCERT® Certified Reference Materials (CRMs) for the heavy metals most routinely monitored in Cannabis testing applications.

TraceCERT® CRMs are produced and certified in accordance with ISO Guide 34 and ISO/IEC 17025. For a complete list of heavy metal analytical standards offered through Sigma-Aldrich visit:

http://www.sigmaaldrich.com/inorganiccrm

Materials

     

Cerilliant®, Sigma®, Aldrich® and Supelco® brands available through Sigma-Aldrich.com.

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