Cannabis Production and Quality Control

Cannabis Production and Quality Control

Cannabis in its various forms is becoming increasingly acceptable, exemplified by Canada legalizing recreational marijuana beginning in mid-October, as reported in the June 21, 2018, issue of The Wall Street Journal.  

These developments make it more and more imperative that strict attention be paid to production and quality control during  the various processing steps.

Tovatech’s Dr. Bob Sandor along with Kirsten Blake of Emerald Scientific and Donald P. Land, PhD, Chief Scientific Consultant for cannabis testing and R&D company Steep Hill reviewed the role of ultrasonic energy in the article “Applying Ultrasonic Energy to Cannabis Production and Quality Control” published in the June issue of Cannabis Science and Technology.

The publication is produced in alliance with the Cannabis Science Conference and focuses on educating the legal cannabis industry about the science and technology of analytical testing and quality control.

The Role of Ultrasonic Energy in the Cannabis Marketplace

As noted in the article, ultrasonic energy is employed in several ways during the production of cannabis and ensuring that the product is of the highest quality.  It is also a preferred method of removing gummy contaminants and other unwanted residues from processing glassware and similar equipment.  Examples include

Quality control; sample mixing for extraction; analytical testing

For these applications product is placed in flasks along with a recommended solvent. Flasks are partially immersed in a sonicator bath containing a surfactant.  The Elma S300H is especially designed to perform this and similar tasks in the cannabis lab.

Cleaning mass spectrometry and processing equipment; processing large batches

An ultrasonic cleaner is an efficient method to remove organic gums, waxes and other residues from glass, plastic, ceramic, metals and similar equipment. The Elmasonic P series is ideal for these tasks as well as to develop/refine processing steps in large batches. 

 Cleaning Processing Equipment

Cleaning the interior and exterior of cannabis processing equipment is necessary to ensure a quality product  and protect the substantial investments made in glassware and other tools.  Cleaning formulas  recommended for these applications are

  • Elma Lab Clean A20SF (surfactant-free) for glassware, graduated cylinders, volumetric vessels and pipettes
  • Elma Tec Clean A1 for glass, ceramics, plastics and optics
  • Elma Tec Clean A4, a universal cleaner to remove a broad range of contaminants

The article summarized a report in the October 28, 2015, Hemp News comparing 5 methods of hemp extraction.  The author concluded that a truly solvent-less method is sonic and ultrasonic waves and produces a very nice, high quality extract.

Click here to access the article in Cannabis Science and Technology.

About Bob Sandor

Bob began working as a chemist in 1987 and remains a science geek to this day. After his PhD he worked on the bench in materials and inorganic chemistry for 10 years. He then took on a love for marketing and sales. He combined his passion for science and business and took entrepreneur general management positions in large corporations like Hoecsht Celanese now Sanofi Aventis, Bel-Art and Smiths Detection. There he learned what it would take to run a business and finally Tovatech was co-founded in 2006. Bob’s hobbies include playing, listening and composing music, skiing, working out, the internet and all things science. Read More