Hemp Testing Best Practices For Extractors

At Kaycha Labs, testing of Cannabis and Hemp products are performed to provide our clients with the most complete and accurate results. This entails that the testing procedure takes place throughout each phase of a plant’s life from the growing period to the extraction process, and later to the manufacturers and retailers.

Though testing must be done during a plant’s growth period to provide processors with accurate levels, the testing does not end there. After the plant has been harvested, it moves hands to the extractors and processors. Because guidelines differ in each state, most farmers hand their plants off for its next phase of life, requiring adequate testing to occur even after leaving the farm.

Since the Farm Bill was passed in 2018, Hemp and Cannabis products are more thoroughly regulated. To meet federal guidelines, all products must contain no more than 0.3% THC on a dry-weight basis. Thus, to ensure that a product meets these guidelines, testing must take place. While the Hemp and Cannabis products may have met these guidelines post-harvest, the extraction process brings with it a considerable exposure to contaminants. Thus, further testing helps ensure the product’s safety across a wide variety of characteristics before it moves on to the manufacturer.

Hemp Testing Timeline for Extraction and Processing

Thorough testing throughout the plant’s life will provide the most accurate results, ensuring that a product meets state and federal guidelines before it is manufactured. This helps to ensure the safety of the product by the time it reaches consumers.

After a plant leaves the farm for extraction, it goes through a series of processes, which increases its contaminant load. Because the extraction process involves reducing the flowers down to oil, thus reducing the sample’s weight, the levels taken at post-harvest are no longer viable. Once the extraction has taken place, the flower’s complete biomass has been removed, leaving only pure oil and terpenes in its place. This process inadvertently increases the contaminant load, making testing during this phase essential.

The most common extraction process for Hemp and Cannabis products includes using a Co2 extractor. Before testing occurs, the first step requires a thoroughly cleaned instrument to avoid any residual pesticides transferring from the tool to the product. Next, it is time for testing to take place. Because the extraction process involves various end-results, thorough testing is the best way to ensure all appropriate levels are met. Some methods may include extracting out and then later adding terpenes back in, while others may consist of all of the plants constituents present in the end product. Because of the variety of results, extractors and processors should implement testing to stay fully aware of the product’s levels and keep track of numbers throughout the process for accuracy.

According to Kaycha Lab’s Compliance Manager, Shari Campbell, testing must begin once the first extraction occurs. Campbell explains, “Once you have your crude sample, testing is super important. This is where you’ll see if there are any contaminants including pesticides and microbials. You’ll also want to check potency levels to know where you are at for those that formulate products or sell to those that will formulate product.”

Testing for these contaminants is imperative to avoid levels that may cause harm to consumers. Pesticides are inherently dangerous molecules, and when they are carried over into final products, they can pose significant health risks. Continuing, contaminants, such as microbials and mycotoxins, can lead to severe illness if consumed. When it comes to potency levels, accuracy is vital. Kaycha Labs knows that many of these Hemp and Cannabis products are used for medicinal purposes, and therefore, should be treated as such. This entails measuring at precise levels for consumers to have the utmost confidence in their product. Accuracy leads to loyalty, and we are in the business of providing accurate results to our clients.

In addition to contaminant levels found throughout the extraction process, testing for residual solvents is also imperative. Depending on the type of extraction used during processing, there is potential for residual solvents to still be present in your crude product and throughout the process. To produce highly-concentrated oils, solvents such as propane, ethanol, butane, and in some cases hexane are used during the extraction process of cannabinoids and terpenes. If not tested, these harmful substances may carry over into the final product and pose severe health risks if inhaled or ingested by a consumer.

Because the extraction process can include multiple variables, whether it be terpenes, microbials, potency levels, etc., it is essential for thorough testing to occur during all phases of processing to provide clients with full transparency regarding the product at hand. 

Hemp Testing with Kaycha Labs

Kaycha Lab’s innovative technology and streamlined approach to Hemp and Cannabis testing allow our labs to test for a variety of variables, including potency, terpenes, pesticides, heavy metals, residual solvents, microbials, mycotoxins, lipids, nutrient content, environmental factors, and shelf-life. At Kaycha, our top priority is to provide our clients with an end-product that is safe for consumers. “We want people who are consuming or ingesting these products to consume and ingest them with confidence, knowing that what is on the label is what is in the product and that it is free of contaminants,” said Campbell.

At Kaycha, we believe in full transparency when it comes to our testing services. We look for the root cause beyond testing results and aim to help our clients understand their analysis. If we notice a discrepancy, we work alongside our client to find the cause and help keep the industry safe.

Our innovative technology plays a massive role in the quality that we can provide our clients with. Campbell explained, “Our CEO, James Horvath, created our Pure LIMS software, a laboratory information management system. One of the things that he has implemented into LIMS, which is different from many other labs, is the ability to track trends. I think that’s what sets us apart.”

At Kaycha Labs, if we notice that a particular contaminant value is steadily increasing, we can track those trends alongside our client and offer guidance on how to proceed. This may include visiting facilities to take further samples, swab testing for microbials, and more. At Kaycha, it is our goal to make sure that we help mitigate any issues that may arise to create an industry-standard that keeps consumers healthy and safe.

When you test with Kaycha, you can assure that your analysis was obtained thoroughly and accurately. We are America’s First Choice in Cannabis and Hemp Testing for many reasons including our unmatched state-of-the-art technology and tailored client approach. With testing facilities across the country, we can provide clients with access and reliability they can’t find anywhere else. Kaycha strives to set an industry standard by providing clients with a safe and reputable product every time.

If you are an extractor and/or processor looking to learn more about Kaycha Labs’ Hemp Testing services, contact us at sales@kaychalabs.com or 833-465-8378.

Share this: