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Quality Control - Testing of Medicinal Cannabis

Health Canada Product Information Sheet on Dried Marihuana (Cannabis spp.)
(Published January 2008)

“The ongoing effort to define and create testing standards for potency as well as for microbiological contaminants such as mold, fungus, pesticides, bacteria, E. coli and other harmful elements that can comprise the health and well-being of medical marijuana patients.

“As the medical marijuana community continues to expand throughout the United States and Canada, so too has the need for quality assurance testing services increased.”

Quality Control

The finished product must be tested for THC level, microbial, mycotoxin and metal contents, including heavy metals and meets applicable Canadian requirements for Natural Health Products. The following list outlines the acceptance criteria for the finished product distributed to authorized persons:

  • Physical Identity:

Dried and milled Cannabis sativa spp. dark green to light green and tan coloured Flowering Heads plant particulates with characteristic aroma having citrus and pine overtones

  • Pesticides:


  • Foreign Materials:

Stalks, insects and other vermin are absent

  • Moisture Content:

Approx 14% w/w

  • Chemical Identity:

Cannabinoids profile (delta-9 THC, delta-9-THC-acid, CBD, CBG, CBN, CBC)

  • Potency:

Total THC content (delta 9-THC and delta-9-THC acid): 12.5 ± 2%

  • Potency of Related Substances:

CBD < 0.5%

  • Metals and Heavy Metals:
  • Arsenic <0.14 μg/kg b.w./day;
  • Cadmium <0.09 μg/kg b.w./day;
  • Lead <0.29 μg/kg b.w./day;
  • Mercury <0.29 μg/kg b.w./day
  • Microbiological purity:
  • Total Aerobic and Anaerobic counts: < 100 CFU/g
  • Enumeration of Coliforms < 3 MPN
  • E. Coli: Absent
  • Enumeration of Yeasts and Moulds: < 100 CFU/g
  • Aflatoxins:

B1, B2, G1, G2 and ochratoxin A: <20 μg/kg (ppb) of substance