When Procter & Gamble marketed Ivory soap as 99 and 44/100th pure in the mid-1800s, it made an impression. Today, in the cannabis industry, that level of purity isn’t close to good enough. This holds especially true for cannabis concentrates that are consumed with vaporizers.
Robert Gable, in American Scientist, lists the four common routes of drug consumption, from the least toxic to the most toxic (in general):
- eating or drinking a substance,
- depositing it inside the nostril,
- breathing or smoking it, and
- injecting it into a vein with a hypodermic syringe
Because breathing a drug vapor into the lungs ranks just behind intravenous consumption, it is imperative that cannabis concentrates are maximally pure. This requirement is reflected in the draft regulations for states including California that require that levels of pesticides be below the minimum level that is detectable by modern laboratory equipment. In effect, no measurable level of pesticides is acceptable.
This objective notwithstanding, NBC News in southern California visited 15 dispensaries and collected 44 cannabis products. These products were tested by Steep Hill Laboratories in Berkeley. In February, 2017, NBC reported that 41 of the 44 tested positive for pesticides above the allowable limits in Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts and Nevada. Clearly, the purity of cannabis products on the market today don’t fully meet expectations established by the states. This will certainly change in California once cannabis products become legal for recreational use on January 1, 2018.
Herban Industries believes that no characteristics of cannabis products, especially concentrates sold for vaping, are more important than purity and labeling. This is why all of our products are tested multiple times during and after manufacture, and why every product we sell carries a batch identifier to allow dispensaries and consumers to see online the full Certificate of Analysis (CoA) delivered by an independent testing agency.
It is not a surprise that a standard of purity concocted in the mid-1800s won’t be good enough today. California regulations, due to be released in a few days on November 1, 2017, will certainly mandate that cannabis vape cartridges be more than 99.44% free of pesticides. If so, Herban is already ahead of the curve.