The cannabis industry is currently one of the fastest growing industries. This growth is fueled by recent revelations in the potential benefits of cannabinoid therapies for various medical conditions. Although systems for growing production and sale of cannabis related products are well established, regulation and enforcement of quality and safety testing have lagged, such as the testing of heavy metals.
As the cannabis industry matures, terpene isolation from cannabis plant material has become a primary issue. So far, there have only been two practical applications: steam distillation, which is time consuming and smaller in scale, or CO2 extraction, which requires expensive equipment and an experienced operator. Solvent-free microwave-assisted extraction solves these problems with a cost-effective, efficient solution.
The cannabis plant is known to be a hyper-accumulator of heavy metals in the soil and growing medium, so it’s critical to monitor levels to ensure cannabis products are safe to use. Unfortunately, there are many inconsistencies with heavy metal limits due to the lack of clear and common regulations. Most define four heavy metals (Lead, Arsenic, Cadmium, Mercury) while others specify up to nine. Some are based on limits directly in the cannabis plant, while others are based on human consumption per day. Others take into consideration the bodyweight of the consumer, while some other do not even have heavy metal limits. Some regulations only refer to heavy metals in the cannabis plant/flower, while some give different limits for the delivery method such as oral, inhalation, or transdermal.