Cannabis Testing 411

Every patient consultant hears the question several times a day…”which one has the highest percentage of THC?” But, is percent of THC everything? Well, it depends on what you’re looking for. Cannabis testing is the scientific testing of cannabis products with the purpose of identifying the cannabinoid percentages, THC potency, and general content makeup of cannabis products. We’re here to give you the full run down, so you can be fully informed when making your purchases on what those numbers on your products really mean. 

Which products have the highest THC percentages?

Since this is the most asked question, let’s answer it! By design, cannabis concentrates will always have the highest percentage of THC, as they are created with the intention of extracting the most possible amount of THC achievable. from the plant. Edibles made with cannabis extracts will also have a higher amount of THC than flower. The actual THC percentage of flower will typically not exceed 30-35%, however, total cannabinoids may exceed this number. A total cannabinoid percentage will also include other cannabinoids such as CBN, CBD, and THC-V. 

What do all of the testing percentages mean?

Because cannabis testing doesn’t only test for THC, but also other cannabinoids as listed above, the results provide a variety of percentages including the content of CBD, CBN, THC-V, CBG, and CBC. If you are simply looking for a very strong, classic, THC high, THC percentage matters most, but so does CBD percentage, as higher CBD reduces cerebral effects, and increases body effects. On the contrary, looking for less of a head high and more of a body relaxation, a higher CBD percentage and lower THC percentage is more ideal. It is also beneficial to look at other cannabinoid percentages if you’re looking for closer to a full spectrum experience, given the entourage effect of the various cannabinoids and terpenes.

What is Arizona’s cannabis testing law?

Arizona mandates that all medical cannabis products must be thoroughly tested through a certified testing lab before being sold, and be labeled on the product. The law, signed in November 2020, is often referred to as the most strict cannabis testing bill in the country. The intent of the bill was to ensure all products are safe and transparent to consumers by weeding out any product that could possibly contain unsafe pesticides, microbial contaminants, and mold. This law can keep you feeling confident that every product you purchase from a dispensary is safe from contaminants.  

Can I have my product tested myself?

Yes you can! The majority of local labs will allow you to submit samples in for testing. However, it will cost a fee, as well as take awhile, given the high volume of industry professionals utilizing their services for testing in order to meet legal standards. It may take several weeks to get your sample and the results back. You will also need to ensure your sample is at least 16 grams of product, and fits the testing facility’s guidelines for accepting samples.

Cannabis testing is a valuable tool for dispensary employees and cannabis consumers alike to know the scientific components of their products. Whether you’re looking for the highest THC or CBD percentage, or just curious about what is in your products, understanding how and why cannabis testing works is a valuable skill that will hopefully help you with your selections in the future!