The comedian Louis CK does this great bit on his experience smoking marijuana as an adult. He starts of by explaining that he used to smoke in his ill-begotten youth, but he stopped for many years and now he feels he is not able to smoke any longer since he is “too old” now to actually enjoy it. He tells a story of a time when he was on tour and met some fans that offered to smoke with him, and of course he said yes. But he then discovered that marijuana these days has “been worked on like it’s the new cure for cancer.” In other words, it was so potent that he wasn’t prepared for the effects of it. This rings true for many people that find that modern marijuana products are simply too potent or strong for them, so they simply abstain from using them.
Thankfully more and more marijuana distributers are now sending sending marijuana test samples into labs for testing. This includes testing for potency, but they also perform other tests such as testing for microbes. Microbe testing means that they are confirming that the plant is not infected with pesticides, fungus or harmful molds or bacteria, all which could potentially harm the consumer using them. This includes contaminates such as E. Coli, salmonella and aspergillus. This is great news for casual marijuana users that have found that most products on the market are simply too strong for them, and testing for harmful substances can only be beneficial to all people that use cannabis products.
This is also very helpful to consumers of medical marijuana that treat it more like a prescription. It is hard to take the correct dose of anything if you don’t know how strong it is, but cannabis sample testing is helping marijuana sellers to be able to accurately labels and distribute their products accordingly. This also helps create a standardized practice across all sellers of labeling and of how they calculate the dosage of medicine given to all patients. It should also be a clearer way of understanding the potency of a product from the labeling by a layman.
Federal law prohibits the sending of any kind of marijuana products through the US mail. So, in order to preserve the integrity of the testing process, distributers or sellers use licensed cannabis couriers, such as CannaRabbit, to come to their facility and take samples of their marijuana products and then safely and quickly transport them to the testing facility. Everything must be hand delivered.
Unfortunately, potency and microbe testing is not currently required in many states, including Colorado where it is legal as a recreational substance. This means that consumers could potentially be smoking or ingesting products contaminated with any of the harmful substances listed above, as well as heavy metals such as lead or mercury, aflatoxins, or residual solvents including carbon dioxide, butane, propane and ethanol, which are all things that are known to be harmful to the body if ingested. Currently many labs are voluntarily sending their products in for testing, it is important to be an informed consumer and to ask the seller if they send their products to a lab for testing before purchasing.