Cannabis Mycotoxin Testing: Why It’s Necessary
The growing conditions for cannabis are also the perfect conditions for molds and fungi to grow in. In turn, molds and fungi can produce mycotoxins. Cannabis mycotoxin testing in Oklahoma is imperative to ensure consumer safety, as these molecules can cause illness and even death. At PureLabs, we test for eleven different mycotoxins as part of our cannabis compliance tests.
What Are Mycotoxins?
When mold or fungi grows and replicates, mycotoxins are created as a secondary metabolite. These compounds can remain incredibly stable over time, even after processing (ie food processing). In the food industry, mycotoxins are highly regulated, due to their potential toxicity – even in small amounts.
Due to similar growing conditions, cannabis contamination by mold or fungi can take place where it is grown. However, cannabis can become contaminated by mycotoxins in other ways, as well. Transportation, storage, or even processing can be sources of contamination if the environmental conditions are right. The World Health Organization (WHO) says “mold that produces mycotoxins can penetrate deep into food and does not just grow on the surface.” Thus, proper testing must be done to protect consumers from exposure.
The Dangerous Effects of Mycotoxins
Consuming certain mycotoxins can result in “acute symptoms of severe illness appearing quickly after consumption”, while others “have been linked to long-term effects on health, including the induction of cancers and immune deficiency.” At PureLabs, we test cannabis for the following mycotoxins:
- Aflatoxins B1, B2, G1, G2: Aflatoxins are amongst the most poisonous mycotoxins and are produced by certain molds that grow in soil. Large doses of aflatoxins can lead to acute poisoning and can be life-threatening, usually through damage to the liver. They have also been shown to damage DNA and can cause liver cancer in humans.
- Ochratoxin A: While Ochratoxin A is most toxic to animals, it has been shown to produce kidney damage in humans.
- Citrinin: This mycotoxin is a neurotoxin, nephrotoxin, and carcinogen.
- Ergot: Ergot Alkaloids can damage the nervous system, damage DNA, cause liver damage, and are an immunosuppressant.
- Patulin: Patulin has shown to cause nausea, gastrointestinal distress and vomiting. It also has been shown to damage DNA.
- Fusarium: These fungi are very common to the soil, and produce a variety of toxins harmful to humans. Some effects are rapid skin or intestinal irritation, diarrhea, and esophageal cancer. Exposed animals have shown hormonal effects, suppressed immune system, infertility, and kidney and liver toxicity.
Why You Should Test Cannabis for Mycotoxins
With such wide-ranging, potentially deadly effects, mycotoxins are definitely not something you want to have in your products. When people turn to your products for medical use, they are looking for something to help them, not make them worse. Further, most consumers are very well-informed and want to put only the cleanest products in their bodies.
With cannabis testing at PureLabs, you will have guaranteed results that are produced in a professional laboratory, with certification procedures in all areas of testing. By showing consumers that you care not only about your products but how they are tested, they see you care about their health as well. This level of care is the key to creating satisfied, repeat customers.
How To Test Cannabis for Mycotoxins
At PureLabs, we use state of the art chromatography for cannabis mycotoxin testing. This method dissolves the sample into a fluid and pours it through an absorbent. Different compounds, like mycotoxins, will move through the absorbent at different rates, leaving colors behind. This information helps determine what compounds are present, and the concentration of them in the sample.
Cannabis Mycotoxin Testing with PureLabs
To receive the most accurate results, ensure that your samples are being tested by a reputable lab with strict testing procedures. PureLabs meets current Good Manufacturing Practices, with the goal of being ISO/IEC 17025 Certified within a year. We treat your samples with the utmost respect from pick up through the entire testing process, with exacting procedures in place to prevent cross-contamination.
Read more about the PureLabs difference.
Testing cannabis for mycotoxins is required by law in Oklahoma, and it’s smart business practice to keep customers safe. Contact PureLabs for all of your cannabis testing needs, and guarantee test results to anyone who wants to see them.