Cannabis
Testing

LAB TESTING SERVICES
Our goal at ACS Laboratory is to provide the most accurate qualitative and quantitative testing analyses for our clients in the medical cannabis industry.
A team of lab experts grouped up around a table

Cannabis Testing

Our goal at ACS Laboratory is

to provide the most accurate qualitative and quantitative testing analyses for our clients in the medical cannabis industry so that they can offer consumption of the best and most reliable products possible. With the legalization and regulation of cannabis increasing throughout the United States, and new regulations constantly being introduced, there is a movement within the market for contemporary cannabis users to be more educated and informed about what chemical compounds and how much of these compounds they’re ingesting, along with the route of administration, or how to consume these compounds. By providing certificates of analysis for each sample that is tested, we can ensure that consumers are able to choose their cannabis products in an informed manner.

In these
certificates of
analysis,

a variety of metrics are obtained and provided to the medical marijuana consumer. They can be used to anticipate phenotypic characteristics of individual cultivars, as well as determine the presence of any contaminants or unwanted material.
A male lab expert performing tests with a machine

When evaluating
cannabinoid

potency, the most widely focused on measure tends to be THC potency, though recently many cultivators have begun to concentrate on eliciting a wider variety of minor cannabinoids in their flower, such as CBN, CBT, CBC, and CBN.

At this point, the majority of individuals in the cannabis industry

have heard about terpenes and the importance of them, but not everyone fully comprehends their relevancy and mechanism of action. Terpenes modulate the cannabinoid experience and account for a majority of the nuances that are felt between different cultivars and samples, as well as provide a majority of the taste and aroma of cannabis. Essentially, they are supplemental to THC breaking through the blood brain barrier by providing variation and subtlety to the cannabis experience. In addition to terpenes, flavonoids also account for a large portion of the flavor profile. Similarly to terpenes, flavonoids exist in a wide variety of plants other than cannabis, and also account for a portion of the flavor and scent that a sample has. In addition, it is thought that they provide modulation to the cannabis experience in a similar manner to terpenes. For more in depth information on terpenes, as well as flavonoids, and what their individual functions are, you can find links to our terpene blogs and flavonoid blogs here.

To ensure the safety of all products analyzed for cannabinoids,

terpenes, and flavonoids, ACS Laboratory offers testing for pesticides (we meet Colorado's requirement of 102 analytes, the most stringent in the cannabis testing industry) and not only test for all heavy metals required for state compliance, but also for the white metals typically used in producing hexahydrocannabinol (HHC) and other cannabinoids from CBD. Additional contaminants tested for include Hops Variant Testing, Vitamin E acetate (for Hemp Vapes),, moisture content & water activity (an early indicator of mold or microbiology, it’s important to test for this early), microbiology, micronutrients, mycotoxins, residual solvents, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and plant growth regulators (PGRs), as well as shelf life and stability. We offer a full-panel cannabis and  hemp test to our clients, as well. Please note that a “compliance full panel” test does not include terpenes. We recommend testing for terpenes to differentiate your products and steer away from the THC potency obsession that dominates the industry.

We are fully equipped

and have the expertise to test every type of cannabis product for our clients, including biomass, flowers, extracts, nano cannabis emulsions, beverages & drinks, topicals & skin creams, concentrates, edibles (including butters), vapes, tinctures, transdermal patches, and almost any other cannabis-derived products.

In order to validate the

results of every cannabis sample report, a certificate of analysis (COA) is generated through our Chromatography into an online portal with a public view. In addition, we provide QR codes linked to the COA for product packaging, and tracking via a blockchain (option), the future of tamper-proofing and security.

For proper analytical testing of cannabis

and to obtain accurate results, correct sample handling and collection process is paramount. Testing is valuable for a variety of applications, so there are five different stages at which we recommend our clients to perform analytical testing. Before planting, a soil test for pesticides and heavy metals. The cannabis plant is a remedial plant, therefore absorbing toxins and releasing them into the soil. To prevent contamination and ensure proper sample testing, be sure to test fields and not bagged soil. Then, prior to harvest, a test for cannabinoids, microbiology, and pesticide residue. After harvesting, we perform a cannabinoid, terpene, pesticide, heavy metal, microbiology and moisture testing regiment. If a client is producing extracts or oils, we also have the ability to test for cannabinoids, terpenes, microbiology, as well as residual solvents that may be present post-extraction. Residual solvent testing is essential for products made using chemical solvents such as hydrocarbons (butane, hexane, propane, heptane) and alcohols (isopropyl, ethanol). Finally, after production of finished items, such as tinctures, we perform a terpene, cannabinoid, pesticide, microbiology, heavy metals, and mycotoxins test.

A scientist transferring CBD oil over to a vial for potency testing

When selecting a cannabis testing

laboratory, there are a number of different metrics, accreditations, and testing methodologies that should be taken into account, along with location. First and foremost, we are ISO/IEC 17025:2017 compliant. We are registered with the AHCA, CLIA, and the DEA (#RA0571996). ACS was awarded a total of 61 Emerald Badges, an inter-laboratory comparison and proficiency test through 2019-2021. As a result of our years of experience operating as a clinical testing laboratory aiding in the quantitative aspects of method development, ACS is able to disseminate clinical grade results.
A scientist transferring Cannabis into vials

To ensure the most professional

and trustworthy results, instead of outsourcing the lead scientist role, ACS has taken an important step in providing our own lead scientist with all of the essential analytical skills to produce reliable analyses in a timely manner. Additionally, we have invested in a 20,000 square ft facility, and our site has all of the proper laboratory-grade instruments and materials to perform high quality cannabis and hemp testing. Consequently, we are able to employ the most reliable testing methods available, such as high performance liquid chromatography and clinical mass spectrometry (HPLC/MSMS), gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC/MS), and inductively coupled  mass spectroscopy (ICP/MS) and Ultra Violet technology (LCUV). We have dedicated and knowledgeable customer support teams that are consistently available by phone and we are able to offer 3-5 day turnaround time for test results, as well as a fleet of couriers for sample pickups.

According to Florida’s Department of Health (DOH)

governing board in statute 381.986, any pesticide used in the production of cannabis flower (medical marijuana) or low-THC cannabis (hemp) must be registered with the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services or the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). These pesticides must be classified as minimum risk, and the ingredients in the pesticide must be exempt from tolerance requirements. Florida law requires that medical marijuana be tested for  pesticides. In addition to pesticides, the DOH’s proposed lab certification and testing standards rules state that medical cannabis cannot contain any level of microbes, mycotoxins, agricultural agents, residual solvents, heavy metals, or filth and foreign materials found in an amount that exceeds any of the department’s accepted limitations. At ACS, we analyze medical cannabis in accordance with these rules.

How
we Test

Cannabis remains a Schedule 1 drug, according to the Controlled Substances Act. The 2018 USDA Farm Bill applies to hemp containing less than .3% Delta-9 THC. Cannabis and Hemp are considered to be different classifications of the plant and governed differently. In Florida the governing body for Cannabis is the Florida Department of Health and for Hemp it is the Florida Department of Agriculture.
Consistent therewith, the FDA and DEA have concluded that marijuana has no federally approved medical use for treatment in the U.S. and thus it remains as a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law.
Cannabis samples inside a test vial

FAQ's About Testing Cannabis

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Our Credentials

Emerald Proficiency Test

Florida Department of Agriculture

Drug Enforcement Administration

DEA Registered Laboratory
#RA0571996

CLIA Certified

Agency for Health Care Administration

Work with Florida’s
largest in state
designated lab

The Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services (FDACS) does not allow farmers to clip their own samples for testing. Instead, they must enlist approved third-party laboratories to conduct this task. Through ACS’s designation as the largest DEA-registered
A scientist transferring Cannabis into vials
ACS Laboratory has won the most national awards and is a State Designated Laboratory that is licensed by the DEA.

Why it
matters?

01.
Providing stellar customer service
02.
Exceeding industry standards
03.
Highly reproducible quality, results in a regulated environment
04.
Providing stellar customer service
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Beyond
Compliance

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