What’s In My Weed? The 411 on Testing Cannabis.

Every stoner has that story of when they swear someone gave them something that was “more than weed”…

That’s exactly why the states who legalized cannabis decided to implement required testing procedures. Well that, and they wanted the revenue that comes from taxing it. But that’s another story.

Back in the day, I used to work at salmon canneries in Alaska. True story. I mean, who would brag about standing in fish guts 16 hours a day?

My job was to test the fish for freshness, temperature, consistency, and a myriad of other classifications to make sure what we sent out the door wouldn’t make you sick, or perhaps even kill you. If you cook a batch of canned salmon wrong, you can give someone botulism and their impending death is far from pretty. Thankfully nobody died on my watch.

Everyone who has walked into a dispensary or struck up a conversation with their dealer has asked about THC % levels. But testing cannabis goes way beyond just testing for THC.

At last count, science has discovered over 113 cannabinoids that range from psychoactive to primarily medical in nature. CBD is a perfect example. It’s non psychoactive, yet it has been known to help people relax, combat symptoms of PTSD and epileptic seizures and reduce inflammation.

In order to fully understand a plant, one needs to at least know the major players in the cannabinoid profile to know how it will effect most people. Did you know there is not only THC, but THCV? You might want to look into that one. There’s CBDV, CBG, CBN and CBC too.

Okay, so now you’ve got the cannabinoid profile. But what about the terpene profile? If you don’t know what terpenes are, you really don’t know that much about the high you’re getting from your weed. Terepenes are to cannabis what hops, corn and barley are to beer. They are what gives it it’s character.

Some terpenes make you stoney. Some perk you up. Some have one form of medical benefits, some the other. Terpenes are just as important, if not more important to your experience with cannabis. So yeah, we’re gonna want to know the terpene profile of our weed if we really want to customize our experience. Thankfully they can test for those.

Oh, but hang on Sally. We’re not done with the reasons you want your weed to be tested before you smoke it. The real reason is safety. Remember that time your buddy smoked you out and you swore there was “something in that weed”? Well, there may have been. It could have been other drugs, or it could have been things like chemical solvents or pesticides.

So next time you complain that there are too many regulations on weed (in a legalized state), you might want to consider that: 1) Other states have regulated it so much that it’s illegal; 2) The safer cannabis gets, the more people will want to try it; and 3) Do you know what a PCP trip feels like? You could find out if you get the wrong weed from the wrong guy.

When I was recently at THC Fair in Central Oregon (where The Herb Advisor lives) I had a chance to talk to someone from Evio Labs, who is the largest testing company in the country and rapidly expanding. The video and text of the interview are posted below. Find out more about testing, and the answer when I asked “if you could smoke a bowl with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?”. What would be your answer? Leave it in the comment section below.

Power to the flower, my babies.

Scojo The Herb Advisor

Scojo: Well, greetings and salutations everybody, I am Scojo, the Herb Advisor here from the THC fair in Central Oregon. And speaking of Central Oregon and THC, you gotta get your tested, so that’s why we’re gonna find out a little bit more about Evio Labs and this is …

 

Katya: Katya.

 

Scojo: … Katya! I’m not even high right now, just for the record. Maybe if I was it would help, I’m forgetting everybody’s name.

 

Katya: Contact high from everyone else in the room.

 

Scojo: It is! There’s all kinds of stuff here that’s causing brain damage. So let’s talk a little bit about, everybody knows, at least in a legal state, that stuff has to be tested. I don’t know anything about it so just kind of give me the overview of that.

 

Katya: The state of Oregon requires for us to test all cannabis and cannabis products that are gonna be sold in dispensaries. All flower will get tested for potency, pesticide, moisture content and water activity. And then the concentrates will get tested for potency, pesticides, and residual solvents.

 

So any kind of dabs products that you see in the stores, they’re made with a ton of solvents, and we want to make sure that there’s no butane or pentane or hexane left in those products when you’re smoking them.

 

Basically, we’re doing it out of a consumer safety, your responsibility to make sure anything that you consume is gonna be safe. And then that the potency numbers that you are seeing, are reliable, so you don’t overdo it when you’re eating an edible.

 

Scojo: It seemed like, just from a consumer standpoint, that early on a lot of the reliability in the testing seemed like it was a little bit loose. Has that kind of developed since then?

 

Katya: Oh absolutely, in the last two years it’s been changed incredibly. When I first started working for Evio we were working on getting the accreditation process. There was two accreditation bodies that were following an international standard that controls what we’re doing. There’s a ton of quality controls making sure that our results are reliable and reproducible.

 

Scojo: Now is there a way to describe to a five year old, how do you test cannabis?

 

Katya: Well here, actually I can show you. We take the cannabis product, put it in here, put some solvent on it, get the cannabinoids out of it, and then dilute it down. Eventually it ends up being in a little vial like this, and goes on an instrument and then it pops out results.

 

Scojo: Wow! I like it.

 

Katya: It’s really simple.

 

Scojo: Now tell me a little bit more about Evio Labs in specific.

 

Katya: Evio Labs is a family of laboratories. We started about two years ago, now we’ve expanded down to California, Massachusetts, Florida, Colorado, and we’re gonna be heavily expanding down in California. We started off with one lab, and we’ve been slowly buying other laboratories and then starting new ones.

 

Scojo: So you guys are pretty much in the expansion mode?

 

Katya: Yeah. I think we are one of the largest cannabis testing companies. We have a great team of scientists, and sales people with lots of different backgrounds.

 

Scojo: Where would they find out more about your company?

 

Katya: You can go to http://www.EvioLabs.com.

 

Scojo: Do you have any social media or anything like that?

 

Katya: We are Evio Labs on Instagram.

 

Scojo: Oh okay, cool. I’m gonna have to check that out.

 

Katya: There’s a picture of me and Mindy here on there.

 

Scojo: Nice. So let’s say you’ve got your cannabis tested, it’s exactly what you want, you’ve got a bowl of it now and you’re gonna smoke it with anybody alive or dead, who would it be?

 

Katya: Jerry Garcia.

 

Scojo: Jerry Garcia?

 

Katya: Yeah.

 

Scojo: Okay, why is that?

 

Katya: The Grateful Dead actually got me into a lot of things that I do now and kind of made me the person I am, so I think Jerry Garcia would be kind of cool to smoke with.

 

Scojo: It might be a chicken or the egg thing. Do you get into the Grateful Dead and then into weed? Or do you get into weed and then into the Grateful Dead?

 

Katya: The weed came first.

 

Scojo: Guilty, same here. Well at least we now know where we can get tested, so be sure and check these guys out on their website. From the THC fair, I am Scojo with the Herb Advisor, power to the flower everybody.

 

 

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