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There are many labs across America which you can mail a sample to and will use gas chromatography to provide an analysis of its chemical composition, THC and CBD levels, exact terpene profile, and if there are any residual products on it.
Cannabis is a cumulative plant meaning it can pull up contaminants in the ground up through its roots. Pesticides, fungi, bacteria, and heavy metals are commonly found in cannabis plants. The term heavy metal refers to any metallic chemical element that has a relatively high density and is toxic and poisonous even at low concentrations. Examples of heavy metals are Mercury, Cadmium, Arsenic, Lead, Chromium, and Thallium. These metals are natural components of the Earth’s crust but human exposure can lead to an array of physiological and neuropsychological problems. Prolonged exposure to these chemicals is something one should avoid at all costs. In many illegal markets (and even some legal ones), some growers will prioritize their earnings over their consumers’ wellbeing and spray their flower with pesticides to ensure the growth and life of their crop.
In a study done by Trace Analytics, a lab in Spokane Washington, collected samples from the legal market and “out of the 26 Washington State samples, 22 (84.6%) tested positively for pesticides.”3 Clearly, more work needs to be done eradicating dangerous illicit markets and tightening up regulations and quality of product within legal markets. Pesticides and other contaminants are toxic and not safe to smoke so if you would like to ensure any one of your products are safe, clean, and contaminant-free, consider sending a sample to a laboratory.