As the legalization of marijuana gets closer and closer, the need for potency tests becomes increasingly important. Believe it or not, the potency of strains plays an important role in the legalization process, as they need to know the effects and potency of cannabis. The University of British Columbia Okanagan’s researchers are working on making this process simpler and faster by improving the process already in place.
According to Matt Noesthedon, the new test “doesn’t directly impact the producers, but indirectly it does – they can get their product tested faster, which means they can get it to market faster.”
While most marijuana producers and Canada officials are concerned about the THC and CBD found in marijuana, the researchers from the British Columbia are more interested in looking at other components of the drug. Noesthedon defends this interest by saying that there are “similar compounds” that science is still unsure of “their biological activity,” but that “strong evidence” suggests “that they do have an impact on your person” when ingested.
They want to determine all the factors that may affect the potency of marijuana to help provide future scientists with a base to start from when it’s time to develop new tests in the future. The current tests are designed to provide a number scale to determine the potency of flower, edibles, and oils.
As part of the legalization process, producers will be required to have all of their products tested using these standardized tests for marijuana. Health Canada will collect all of the data and keep a record of it, helping to regulate the marijuana they’re distributing similarly to how they regulate medications. This will allow those purchasing the marijuana to know how it will affect them as well as the potency of each cannabis product.
“I think that [this process] will benefit the cannabis users out there, to get them a more consistent and safer product for them to be consuming recreationally or medicinally,” Noesthedon said.
Even though there isn’t an official date set for legalization yet, these tests will be an influential part of ensuring customers get “a variety of safe, high-quality cannabis products” from their dispensaries.