-Shape and structure of the cannabis flower – how well-connected are the calyxes of the flowers.
-Vibrancy of the flower’s color. This is a good indicator that the flower was grown properly, that it was fed the right nutrients, that it was well maintained throughout its growth cycle and that it was flushed properly.
-Health and color of the trichomes. This helps to determine if the flower was harvested at the right time.
-Additionally, this aids in determining if the effect is going to be more energizing or more sedative.
-Physical quality of the edible and what kind of edible – brownies, cakes, candies, cookies, tinctures and even pills or caps. Different patients require various delivery methods of medication.
-How susceptible the type of edible is to mold and spoiling. Certain types of edibles will have a shorter shelf life or require various methods of storage. For example, a cake will need to be refrigerated or possibly frozen whereas lozenges, hard candies or even honey can be stored at room temperature.
-Proper packaging with state compliant dosing, ingredients, expiration dates and safety warnings. It is very important to know the ingredients and their quality as some patients may have allergies or may have specific dietary needs.
-Freshness, signs of mold or spoiling.
SMELL & TASTE INSPECTION
-Strength and complexity of the smell; this is determined by the strength and presence of medically valuable terpenoids.
-How the aromas of a specified strain compare to others in the same strain family. Since there are different phenotypes of the same cannabis strain, it is important to determine how each sample compares to a standard representation of that strain.
-How smooth the smoke is – this indicates how well the cannabis was flushed and cured by the grower.
-How full the flavor of the smoke is and how it compares to other cannabis medicine within the same strain family. The flavor also indicates how terpene rich the medicine is.
-Duration and quality of the therapeutic effect.
-The color of the ash; how clean it is also indicates how well the cannabis was flushed and cured.
-Smoothness of vaporization on the nail or vapor pen – clean vaporization is a good initial indicator that the concentrates does not contain poisonous residual solvents. However, extensive residual solvent lab analysis is required to confirm this.
-Quality of experience and therapeutic effect – this is an initial indicator of potency, and contributes to our understanding of which ailments may be alleviated by the medicine: e.g., sleep disorders, pain, anxiety, depression, lethargy.
Why It’s Important to Test Your Medicine
Ingesting pesticides can be harmful, even in small doses. Think about it; pesticides are meant to destroy the brains of bugs. Is that something you want to put in your body? Although many cannabis cultivators use organic products to deter pests, others use toxic pesticides. This goes against everything cannabis is about. Cannabis is being recognized as a safer, gentler alternative to pharmaceutical drugs – it’s non-addictive, non-toxic, and can even help the body fight illness. Why fight disease with dirty medicine? Healthy living is better achieved using clean medicine. And we are committed to providing our patients with the safest medicine available.
Momentum is Building
The FDA has not yet seen fit to determine safe levels for insecticides or fungicides in cannabis. But momentum is building in the cannabis community for higher safety standards. More patients want to know their cannabis is lab-tested. Other states are instituting regulations that require cannabis medicine pass pesticide testing at “None Detectable” levels. The good news for us is that the labs in California have shown that they have the ability to detect much smaller amounts of residual pesticides, and hence guarantee even safer medicine for our patients.