Cannabis THC Lab Shopping: What Got Us Here, Where We Stand Now and Where We Go From Here

C.E. Credits: P.A.C.E. CE Florida CE


I will discuss and present data and viewpoints so discuss the current situation with THC Lab shopping, it’s impact on the industry from growers through labs to end-users, how we got here in 2023 and potential options and paths forward to remediate this situation for the benefits of all parties.  I’ll start by discussing my qualifications and scientific expertise to speak about this issue, including my scientific career, Ph. D. in molecular biology, along with direct experience as cannabis analytical Lab Director in four different testing labs in three states (CA, OR & NM) so far. 

I’ll next go into a dive into how we got here as a legal cannabis consumption industry in many US states both medicinally and recreationally.  The hunt for highest THC from consumer demand through producers and extractors of flower, concentrates, edibles, oils and other products has been a long and slippery one.  Now science is beginning to take a foothold and end users and industry insiders, through learning and education, are learning that other compounds in these cannabis spectrum of chemistry beyond THC contribute immensely to the consumers experience, such as terpenes, flavinoids, other cannabinoids etc. to the overall experience whether for relief of a medical condition or otherwise. I’ll discuss where the cannabis field is currently on this issue from my professional Lab Director experience and a lot of what I’ve read on other forums i.e., Linked In expressing their views and potential solutions.  I’ll describe areas in the process from bud to end-user where inflated cannabinoid THC, CBD or other compounds can occur both biologically, in sample selection and collection, via laboratory SOPs, instrument and data handling practices, scope and impact of state regulations, vendor and customer desire and potential deceitful practices among other factors in the legal vs black market for cannabis products. These factors and reasons behind each will be discussed during this presentation..

Finally I’ll conclude with some suggestions and views for courses of action and the likelihood of those coming into play to help remedy and correct the accuracy and comparability/fairness of current practices.  How can things be changed, approximately when and how long might these changes take along with their potential impact and where I forsee we’ll eventually get on this topic. An important goal for me is to give everyone listening a deeper and more informed view of the current situation with THC lab shopping and it’s impact on cannabis consumers by offering a better scientific understanding of the variables that go into sampling, testing and dosing of all commercially available cannabis products.

Learning Objectives:

1. Identify from the presentation how the practice of laboratory shopping for highest THC level and issues of value inflation started and where the situation is currently in early 2023.
2. Discuss what are the possible areas where inflated cannabinoid THC and CBD can occur both biologically, in sample collection, laboratory SOPs, data handling practices, State regulations, customer desire and vendor deceit or others,  and the factors and reasons behind each.
3. Describe in detail several ways forward to help rectify and eventually eliminate the issue of THC lab shopping and your rationale for these options and relative potential impact they would have.

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