Phase Three compliance testing became the official standard for all cannabis products produced within California. While this news didn’t exactly dominate headlines, the fact is, Phase Three testing is a major step forward for cannabis consumer safety — and for the industry as a whole.
Phase Three Compliance Testing Explained
In an effort to ease the transition to full regulation, California’s Bureau of Cannabis Control rolled out its compliance testing program in three phases over the course of a 12-month period, beginning Jan. 1, 2018. Phase Three — which formally took effect December 31, 2018 — added four more categories to the mandatory testing panel:
- Terpenoids testing
- Mycotoxins testing
- Heavy metals testing
- Water activity testing of solid or semi-solid edibles
Some cultivators, manufacturers, and cannabis testing labs have claimed that the extensive requirements are burdensome and costly, but the truth is, these tests are in the consumers’ best interests.
Why Heavy Metal And Mycotoxin Testing Is Critical
One often overlooked fact about cannabis is that it is extremely efficient at absorbing certain elements found in its environment, including toxic heavy metals. In fact, cannabis has been used for the remediation of soils contaminated with toxic heavy metals.
This means that toxic heavy metals present in the grow environment can be taken up by the cannabis and potentially inhaled, absorbed or ingested by consumers.
Toxicity from heavy metals — including mercury, cadmium, lead, and arsenic — can result in severe health issues, including heart disease, brain damage and cancer.
Mycotoxins are byproducts of life-threatening fungi and molds that can colonize crops. The two major types of mycotoxins associated with cannabis can wreak havoc on humans and have been linked to liver cancer. They can even suppress the immune system and mutate DNA.
Terpenoids And Water Activity Testing
The Phase Three requirements also include terpenoids testing for products that make terpene claims, as well as water activity testing.
Terpenes — organic compounds that produce aroma and flavor within plants — are not dangerous to humans. Rather, they play an integral role in determining the type of high you’ll feel from a particular cannabis product.
Water activity testing is necessary to determine the likelihood of microbial contamination in a cannabis product. High water activity means more opportunity for harmful microorganism growth — so, the lower the water activity level, the less susceptible the product is to contamination from harmful microbes.
Compliance Testing Means Consumer Safety
It’s true that Phase Three requirements are costlier for cannabis cultivators and manufacturers. However, compliance testing is all about consumer safety — and that should be priority No. 1 across our industry.
One cutting-edge company that’s embracing the new regulations and taking consumer safety a step further is BigMike’s Blends, a new line of ultra-premium, outcome-based pre-rolls. Aside from being among the first California-based companies to be completely Phase Three compliant, BigMike’s Blends is backed by the Patient Protection Promise, company founder BigMike Straumietis’s commitment to providing only the safest, highest-quality cannabis possible.
With 15 years of cannabinoid research by 25 world-class PhD’s, BigMike’s Blends Pre-Rolls are the most sophisticated, science-backed, outcome-based pre-rolls on the planet, because each pre-roll is made with 4-6 top shelf strains. These strains are blended in exacting ratios to achieve a complex cannabinoid and terpenoid profile to deliver a precise outcome unmatched by any single strain. In addition to California’s mandated Phase Three testing, BigMike’s Blends are laboratory tested both pre and post production to ensure maximum purity, potency, and standardization.
Here’s the bottom line: Tough cannabis compliance testing is the new normal, and that’s a good thing. Stricter standards are going to serve the industry by ensuring only safe, quality products reach the hands of consumers. The more contaminated cannabis we can weed out of the supply chain, the better.
Find BigMike’s Blends in a dispensary near you simply by using the BigMike’s Blends locator.