New labs sprouting up to test cannabis—and the law

Dec 11, 2013

Grandaddy Purple, Blueberry Yum Yum and other pot products may now be legal for medical use in 20 states and the District of Columbia, but how do patients know what dose they're really getting and whether it's safe? Small labs are setting up shop—some at their own legal peril—to help patients find out, according to an article in Chemical & Engineering News, the weekly newsmagazine of the American Chemical Society.

Bethany Halford, senior editor at C&EN, explains that consumers expect tight quality control over more traditional pharmaceuticals that come in syrups, drops and pill form at the corner pharmacy. Dosage should be precise, and purity is demanded. Now that the use of medical marijuana—and in Colorado and Washington, the buying of recreational pot—is growing legally, labs to analyze the available products are cropping up.

The labs test for the potency of marijuana not only by analyzing the plant itself, but also edible products such as taffy, caramel and gum that contain the drug. They also look for mold, mildew and microbial contamination, as well as the presence of pesticides and solvents left behind during production. The article notes that these entrepreneurial chemists, while helping , are taking big risks and treading into untested legal territory. Although some have legalized the purchase of the drug, possession of marijuana is still illegal under federal law.

Explore further: Conn. university to test pot for contaminants

More information: "Analyzing Cannabis" cen.acs.org/articles/91/i49/Ch… -Safety-Potency.html

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Washington state approves rules for pot industry

Oct 16, 2013

Washington became the second U.S. state to adopt rules for the recreational sale of marijuana Wednesday, setting what advocates hope will become a template for the drug's legalization around the world.

Jamaica scientist launches medical marijuana firm (Update)

Dec 04, 2013

A prominent Jamaican scientist and entrepreneur is launching a company that aims to capitalize on medical marijuana, a growing global industry that he asserted Wednesday could be a boon for the island's chronically limping ...

Recommended for you

A refined approach to proteins at low resolution

14 hours ago

Membrane proteins and large protein complexes are notoriously difficult to study with X-ray crystallography, not least because they are often very difficult, if not impossible, to crystallize, but also because ...

Base-pairing protects DNA from UV damage

17 hours ago

Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich researchers have discovered a further function of the base-pairing that holds the two strands of the DNA double helix together: it plays a crucial role in protecting ...

Smartgels are thicker than water

17 hours ago

Transforming substances from liquids into gels plays an important role across many industries, including cosmetics, medicine, and energy. But the transformation process, called gelation, where manufacturers ...

Separation of para and ortho water

Sep 18, 2014

(Phys.org) —Not all water is equal—at least not at the molecular level. There are two versions of the water molecule, para and ortho water, in which the spin states of the hydrogen nuclei are different. ...

User comments : 0