Cannabis Testing in New Mexico

Some cannabis community leaders, like Steve DeAngelo of Harborside Health in Oakland, CA, say “all use cannabis use is medicinal use”, and to a point I agree. People who are only seeking a cannabis high are really just medicating themselves like the people who choose to use alcohol to change their mood or dull their physical or mental pain. I have spent time in both camps over the years. Decades ago, cannabis was just a recreational fun thing to do with friends (or so we thought), but now I use cannabis as medicine for a debilitating illness, (or a few of them), so I strive to know as much as I can about it. I need to know more. Recreational users? Not so much.

both of our NM licensed cannabis testing labs can perform tests for a large number of cannabinoids and terpenes

My last post was about cannabis testing, and I don’t feel like I stressed the importance of knowing the medicinal contents of cannabis nearly enough. Knowing exactly what is in your medicine, (as well as what isn’t), is the only way we can learn how to dose properly. I can’t tell you the number of times I hear bud tenders and dispensary employees go on and on about how so many patients come into their stores concerned only about how high the THC count is. This is such a disappointment. Are they there to get high or to get medicine? Some say it doesn’t matter, but to me, there IS a difference. Serious patients want to see test results. People only looking to get high could care less.

scepter lab logoIf my cannabis product is not tested, how do I know what is in it? I’m not speaking about contamination right now, even though it’s really important. I’ll save that for another post. What I’m talking about now is how do I know what entourage of cannabinoids and terpenes is working for me and my conditions? I don’t, and that is just one reason why it is so important to have test results. Without test numbers patients are just pissing into the wind or shooting at stars in the sky. Essentially, it’s just guessing, hoping and painfully trying for an educated guess using the few facts available; aroma and the scarce information available on the label. Guessing and hoping has worked for me somewhat, but since the labs CAN give me exact numbers of what is in my medicine, I’m want the opportunity to hone in on my best medicine, or the best strain of cannabis for me. Why wouldn’t you expect the local dispensaries to give you ALL the information available to them through lab testing? I sure do.

steep hill logoDid you know that both of our NM licensed cannabis testing labs can perform tests for a large number of cannabinoids and terpenes? Did you know that this is a requirement in other states? Both Steep Hill and Scepter Labs are able to give full cannabinoid profiles, (acids and neutrals) and terpene profiles too, yet only a small fraction of producers utilize these tests and pass the knowledge on to patients. Unless we start demanding this, it will be a very long time before it’s standard in the industry. Is your cannabis producer giving you full list of cannabinoids and terpenes?

We pay way to much money to be experimenting, folks

Why do I want to see the Full Monte? Because it really matters. Even if you have found your perfect strain, you should know why it’s perfect for you. You should know exactly what is in it, and be able to make an educated decision on what to buy when your strain isn’t available, or to know what to grow for your own perfect medicine. We pay way to much money to be experimenting, folks. Especially when our producers could be giving us the exact information we need. This is even more important if you are using edibles, canna caps, tinctures, topical salves and lotions or anything else that isn’t vaped or smoked.

What’s in YOUR medicine? I’m betting that most patients have no idea. How sad is that!

New Mexico Licensed Non-Profit Producer Cannabis Testing Requirements:

– Quantity of Cannabinoids (THC and CBD)
Microbiological Contaminants (standards set forth in Section 2023 of the United States Pharmacopeia (“microbiological attributes of non-sterile nutritional and dietary supplements”)
Mycotoxins (aflatoxin B1, B2, G1, and G2 and ochratoxin A)
Solvent residue test (for solvent extractions of cannabis concentrates) A non-profit producer shall determine on the basis of the solvent residue test results whether the quantity of solvent residue contained within a concentrated cannabis derived product poses a health risk to consumers.  A non-profit producer shall not sell or distribute a concentrated cannabis derived product from a batch that is found to contain a quantity of solvent residue that is likely to be harmful to human health)

– Use of Pesticides (NM does NOT require testing for pesticides in cannabis)
USE OF PESTICIDES BY LICENSED PRODUCERS: The use of any pesticide by a licensed producer in the growth or manufacture of cannabis shall be in accordance with the New Mexico Pesticide Control Act, Section 76-4-1 et seq., NMSA 1978, and associated regulations. Product label must identify pesticide(s) used in the production of the cannabis or cannabis-derived product.
(full Licensing Requirements section of the NMAC, for NM LNPPs on this page)

This list above is pretty sad too, especially the part about NOT testing for Pesticides. Considering the large number of cannabis contamination recalls in other states, it’s pretty obvious that growers are using them. Expecting producers to proclaim, on their labels, the pesticides they are using is just plain nuts. We should be telling our producers to take it to the next level and test for MORE than the requirements. Give patients all the info available to them from our cannabis testing labs.


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