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Microbiological contaminants are present in nature and throughout the entire cannabis supply chain. As the cannabis industry continues exponential growth, there’s an immediate need for an increased focus on cannabis microbiology. Whether you are consuming cannabis medicinally or not, your safety as a consumer is vital. Traditional medicines and foods are regulated and have standardized microbiological testing which is essential to ensure consumer health and safety. This is not the case for the cannabis industry, which lacks federal oversight and industry standardization. Due to the industry’s exponential growth, this puts the growing consumer base at risk. There’s an immediate need for an increased focus in cannabis microbiology testing.

In the expansion of the cannabis industry, understanding cannabis microbiology may feel like a tall order; it doesn’t have to be that way. Leveraging education, research, and knowledge of microbiology of experts in parallel industries such as pharmaceuticals, nutraceuticals, food, agriculture, and postharvest, will help you learn and understand how to keep microbial contaminants under control.

Microbiology is the study of all living organisms that cannot be seen with the naked eye. This includes bacteria, fungi, mold, viruses, and more. Detecting or quantifying harmful contaminants such as bacteria, and fungi (molds) in cannabis, cannabis-infused products, and in the environment throughout the supply chain improves consumer safety, product quality, protects brands, and increases profitability providing a positive impact on the cannabis industry. The goal is to eliminate illness-causing microorganisms impacting consumer health, increase quality, and preserve your brand.

As many learned in the COVID Pandemic, invisible microbes can be harmful or even deadly. The same is true for the risks to cannabis consumers and the industry. Knowing the risk and managing those risks, combined with understanding the regulations, and partnering with a good laboratory and knowledgeable industry partners, can be the difference between success and failure for both yourself and the industry.

To better understand the contaminants posing threats to consumers and the industry, it’s beneficial to consider and further understand the Risk Factors & Reason for Testing and the microbes of interest, especially:

Microbiological contaminants are not only dangerous, they can be deadly to humans. Plant pathogens such as Hop Latent Virod impacts cannabis quality and production values. There’s strong impact to know and understand the microbes, the risks they pose, and how to test and mitigate for them throughout the supply chain. This will help to ensure local regulations are achieved, consumers and brands are protected, and the safe advancement of the cannabis industry.