Microbial Impurities Testing

Microbial impurities analysis is required for cannabis and cannabis products in California.

Microbial impurities are split into two categories: bacterial and fungal.

Bacteria are microscopic single-celled organisms that live everywhere and are invisible to the human eye. While some bacteria are beneficial to human health, some are harmful and can cause sickness in humans.

 

THC Analytical Lab tests for Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC) and multiple species of Salmonella.

A fungus is any group of spore-producing organism which includes yeasts and molds. While there are approximately 180 strains of Aspergillus, there are 4 strains in particular that could be harmful to individuals with compromised immune systems if inhaled. A. fumigatus, A. flavus, A. niger, and A. terreus are the four strains that

 

THC Analytical Lab can detect and speciate to determine what species of Aspergillus is present in any inhalable cannabis product. THC Analytical Lab conducts microbial impurity analysis by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR).

 

Inhalable cannabis and cannabis products are deemed to have passed microbial impurities testing if each of the following analytes are not detected in the test product:

  • Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC)

  • Salmonella spp.

  • A. fumigatus

  •  A. flavus

  •  A. niger

  •  A. terreus

 

Non-inhalable cannabis and cannabis products do not require mold/fungus testing. Therefore, they are deemed to have passed microbial impurity testing if the following analytes are not detected in the test product:

  • Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli (STEC)

  • Salmonella spp.

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