New Program Launched by Federal Science Agency Aims to Improve Cannabis Testing Accuracy

Chemistry Testing
  • A new program named CannaQAP is aiming to solve CBD and THC labelling issues while also creating a safer marketplace.
  • The program is designed to provide more accurate and consistent results when measuring the levels of chemical compounds, such as CBD and THC, in both hemp and marijuana.
  • Companies that want to try CannaQAP can register online with the NIST.

A new program was launched by a federal science agency on Tuesday that aims to assist labs gain accuracy when testing hemp and marijuana products to measure their key chemical compounds. The program will be designed to help with the testing of several different product types, such as oils, balms, and edibles.

The program, named CannaQAP, was created by the National Institute of Standards (NIST) and Technology’s Cannabis Quality Assurance and could potentially help solve issues surrounding the labels on CBD products because it will allow companies to provide more accurate information regarding the product. This will also help forensic labs quickly distinguish products by whether they are derived from federally legal hemp or marijuana.

Marijuana and its products are still considered a Schedule 1 controlled substance and are only legal in certain states. This makes forensic labs’ ability to distinguish hemp from marijuana so vital.

NIST is a physical science agency that is a part of the U.S. Department of Commerce. They help set standards in the industry to help improve its ability to compete globally. Using the CannaQAP program, NIST will send samples of hemp oil to labs in order to measure the concentration of compounds such as THC and CBD.

“When you walk into a store or dispensary and see a label that says 10% CBD, you want to know that you can trust that number,” says research chemist Brent Wilson.

Wilson also says that the ultimate goal of the NIST program is to create more consistent measurement results that will ultimately create a safer market. Measurements obtained in the first round of exercises will be published anonymously to demonstrate the variability between labs.

“Anonymity means that labs don’t have to worry about how their performance will be viewed,” states Melissa Phillips, another research chemist at NIST.

“Our goal is to help labs improve, not to call them out.”

Nist is also putting together a hemp reference material that is equipped with accurate measurement values that will allow labs to double-check their methods.

Any laboratory considering the CannaQAP has until August 31st to register online.



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