Industry to Support Cannabis Testing Research
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), housed within the U.S. Department of Commerce, has partnered with industry to further its efforts for improved testing methodologies in cannabis as part of the Cannabis Quality Assurance Program (CannaQAP). CV Sciences, Inc., a hemp oil manufacturer, and Alkemist Labs, a botanicals testing laboratory, announced this week that they will assist NIST in initial sourcing and testing of hemp products to work towards improved analytical tools to support legal, commerce, and safety claims on hemp derivatives, including cannabidiol (CBD).
As our readers know, while both marijuana and hemp come from the same plant, cannabis sativa L., federal law designates marijuana as cannabis plants containing 0.3% delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) or more and hemp as those plants containing less than 0.3% THC. Because marijuana is classified as a controlled substance at the federal level and hemp is not, the legal and financial ramifications for imprecise testing and analysis of cannabis plants and associated products are a matter of extreme importance for regulatory authorities and market participants.
NIST is primarily responsible for developing measurement services programs to assist forensics laboratories in distinguishing hemp from marijuana and developing testing standards for related products. CannaQAP is one component of this program and involves NIST collaboration with both forensic laboratories and commercial laboratories that focus on quality control for food and supplement ingredients, as well as regulators and researchers. Two CannaQAP exercises are in their initial stages, the results of which will help testing laboratories demonstrate and improve measurement comparability and quality of cannabis derivatives. The results of the exercises will be peer reviewed and made publicly available.