On-Demand Training: Heavy Metals in Cannabis

AOAC INTERNATIONAL Training & Education

Date Recorded: February 24,2021

Length: 90 Minutes

Course Content

Regulating Heavy Metals in Cannabis: What We Can Learn From Pharma - Robert Thomas, Scientific Solutions - The lack of federal oversight with regard to medicinal cannabis and hemp products in the US has meant that it has been left to the individual states to regulate its use. Medical marijuana is legal in 36 states, while 14 states allow its use for adult recreational consumption. The sale of these products is strictly regulated by their THC and CBD content, depending on their use. However, it’s also critical to monitor levels of contaminants such heavy metals, as the cannabis plant is known to be a hyper-accumulator of heavy metals in the grow medium and soil. Unfortunately, there are many inconsistencies with heavy metal limits in different states where medical cannabis is legal. Some states define four heavy metals while others specify up to eight. Some are based on limits directly in the cannabis, while others are based on consumption per day. Others take into consideration the body weight of the consumer, while some states do not even have heavy metal limits. So clearly there is a need for consistency across state lines, in order that consumers know they are using products which are safe to use. This presentation will take a closer look at how the pharmaceutical industry changed its 100-year-old sulfide precipitation test for a small group of heavy metals, to finally arrive at a list of 24 elemental impurities using plasma spectrochemical techniques. The cannabis industry can learn a great deal from this process to not only understand the many potential sources of heavy metal contamination, but also how the final cannabis products can be contaminated by the manufacturing equipment, the extraction process and the delivery systems used.

Heavy Metal Analysis in Cannabis and Hemp Flower and Derived Products; A Canadian Perspective - Kaveh Kahen, CEO of the Advion Interchim Scientific and Chairman and CEO of Sigma Analytical Services - An overview of the Canadian and international heavy metal cannabis testing landscape will be presented. Validation of Various Metals in Cannabis and Cannabis-Derived Products by Microwave Digestion and ICP-MS Analysis - Aaron Hineman, Inorganic Product Line Leader, Americas, PerkinElmer - Developing and validating a standardized microwave digestion and ICP-MS method for the determination of various metals in a variety of cannabis and cannabis-derived products has special considerations associated with it. This talk will present how a single method workflow has been developed and validated per AOAC SMPR® and USP <233> requirements. Data will be presented to show the quantitation limits, repeatability, reproducibility, and accuracy. References will show that having a validated method for the cannabis testing industry is key in ensuring the highest quality of cannabis reaches the patient. In addition, the influences of the various cannabis sample types tested will be discussed, and details specified on how to handle flower, concentrates, and edibles.

Perspective of a Compliance Testing Laboratory Adding Heavy Metals Analysis - Ben Armstrong, Ph.D, Lab Director, Juniper Analytics, LLC - Beyond just the instrumentation, consideration needs to be taken for the space requirement, inorganic waste stream, and personnel needed to add heavy metal testing to your compliance laboratory offering. This talk will highlight the steps and considerations needed from the perspective of a compliance testing laboratory adding heavy metals analysis.