5 Rules for Hemp Testing that Every Grower and Regulator Should Know

February 8, 2022

Growing hemp for medicinal or recreational consumption seems like a lucrative business. However, that doesn’t mean hemp and cannabis are immune to pitfalls. On the other hand, other crops like grains and coffee have their fair share of setbacks because of changes in the marketplace environment.

For starters, CBD must undergo quality control and assurance testing before it hits the shelves. Whether you are looking for a Hemp testing laboratory to test finished or unfinished hemp products in Colorado, below are the factors to consider:

1. Does the Lab Operate within the Required Tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) Range?

Right from when hemp starts flowering, a farmer should send samples to a certified lab for testing. While there, an active ingredient known as THC will be tested. The recommended lawful limit is 0.35%. If it is way below or higher than that figure, it means the product is not compliant.

 The strict testing protocols might demotivate any grower considering some environmental conditions may affect the plant’s growth. As more states keep lifting the ban on the growth and sale of marijuana, farmers and distributors can only hope the strict rules will be amended as well.

2. The Expanded Window for Unfinished Hemp Sampling

Usually, hemp growers need at least 30 days to surrender their harvest samples to labs for testing. This means that farmers have to book an appointment with THC lab analysts 30 days before their planned harvest date.

Ideally, the time range allows analysts and regulators to plan when they pick each grower’s samples. The window period also gives growers adequate time to harvest everything before testing.

While the window period may be a blessing in disguise for both parties, you can’t ignore the possibility of THC levels increasing as the plants hit adulthood. During this time, the crop can either maintain or compromise its potency levels. It is safer for hemp farmers to work within the time frame and learn how the THC curves work before calling the lab for testing.

3. Flexibility in the Process

Sometimes, all it takes is to bend a few rules to give growers and regulators an easy time when working together. At the moment, sampling protocols have been made flexible to create a win-win situation for both parties.

For example, the final guideline states that hemp samples should be collected a few inches from the main stem. The other rule stipulates that a regulator can collect samples from the upper third part of the plant.

Both rules argue that THC levels vary depending on which part of the sample was collected. It does not make sense to pick one piece and leave the rest, then come up with unbiased results. By sampling other parts of the plant, farmers can rest assured that they will get motivating results.

4. Testing Hemp Potency for Other Active Ingredients and Contaminants

Testing for THC is the top priority for the law governing the use of hemp. However, other tests must also apply. Your crop will be analyzed for heavy metals, terpenes, pesticides, and microbial contamination at the lab.

The primary objective of performing extra tests is to ensure the final product is safe for consumption to the end-user. So, if your current lab doesn’t have provision for various tests such as these, it is time to source for another.

5. Maintenance of Records

Ideally, all certified hemp testing laboratories should have a register for cultivation and harvest. Regulators may request a copy of the records, which is why updating data should be their top priority. Once the license holder produces a report to the authority, the latter conducts 3rd party testing on their behalf.

If a plant’s THC levels are above the required range, a regulator may authorize its destruction. It happens when the authority is given the power to decide on behalf of growers regarding the crop’s potency or other underlying issues.

The guidelines for the production of quality hemp products are simple to understand. Those in the hemp production value chain have to abide by these laws at all times. After all, your main objective is to be on the good side of the law and assure your clients of safety.

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