Pesticides: What Patients Need to Know About Cannabis Lab Testing and Medical Marijuana Products

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Part of a special series on cannabis lab testing. Learn more about Residual Solvents and why Compassionate Cultivation makes its test results publicly available for every batch of CBD medicine.

In many states with legal cannabis markets, the use of pesticides is a growing problem—although Compassionate Cultivation doesn’t use any pesticides in our indoor cultivation facility, this is a trend patients should have on their radar.

A lack of federal oversight, use of toxic chemicals by many cultivators and multiple advisories and product recalls have brought attention to the critical issue of consumer safety. It’s the Wild West when it comes to regulations for marijuana pesticides; and it’s why cannabis lab testing and transparency are cornerstones for Compassionate Cultivation in our mission to provide consistent, safe medicine under the Texas Compassionate Use Program.

Because marijuana is still federally illegal, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which regulates pesticides for commercial and home use, provides no oversight and little guidance to states that have laws allowing cannabis cultivation. Organic certification is not an option, either. And without regulatory controls, cannabis could be grown with toxic pesticides, and contain molds and other contaminants.

States like Colorado, Washington, Oregon and California have discovered that an alarming amount of cannabis is tainted by residual pesticides, prompting recalls and public-safety advisories. Active ingredients such as myclobutanil, imidacloprid, abamectin, etoxazole and spiromesifen—all found in popular pest-control products and demonstrating various levels of toxicity—have been detected as residue on cannabis flowers and concentrated further in extracts and edibles.  

There are no pesticides registered with the EPA for use on marijuana, according to information provided by the agency in 2017, and the use of pesticides on cannabis intended for human consumption has not been reviewed by the EPA for safety or effects on human health.  

This is why cannabis lab testing is so important in the absence of federal oversight. Without regulatory controls, it’s our responsibility as producers of this medicine—and yours as consumers of it—to ensure it meets the most rigorous standards for quality, safety and consistency.

At Compassionate Cultivation, we conduct comprehensive testing and offer complete transparency to our patients and their doctors by publishing the results. We also share complete ingredient lists for the formulations of our low-THC cannabis oil medicine.

In addition to testing for cannabinoid percentages, so that patients and their doctors can be empowered with data about our medicine, we go beyond the regulations to look for potential contaminants, including microbials, heavy metals, residual solvents and cannabis pesticides to ensure that the final product is the purest possible.  

We are dedicated to offering our patients the purest, highest-quality CBD medicine possible, from the growing of the plants to the extraction of cannabis oil to the processing into CBD tinctures. We are committed to the idea that transparency is a black-and-white issue, because doctors and their patients should experience absolutely no uncertainty when it comes to prescribing and consuming this medicine.

Top photo: Chris Reichman, Sum & Substance Photography
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