Microbiological Screening

Cannabis is often grown in conditions that are well-suited for microbial growth.  Modern hydroponics favors temperatures and humidity levels that mold and bacteria thrive in.  We offer microbiological analysis by plate count and report levels of living aerobic bacteria, yeast, and mold.  There are no limits specific to cannabis that are widely used, so we report the levels found to be acceptable by both the USP and AHPA who both publish limits for microbial activity in herbal products.

“Aerobic bacteria” refers to bacteria that live and grow in the air and are common causes of infections.  Some examples of the hundreds of aerobes that might sound familiar are:

  • Escherichia coli (E. coli)
  • Staphylococcus aureus (Staph. aureus)
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae (Kl. Pneumoniae)
  • Pseudomonas aeruginosa (Ps. aeruginosa)

Molds can contain mycotoxins that affect sensitive patients.  Some examples of common molds are:

  • Alternaria
  • Aspergillus
  • Cladosporium
  • Penicillium
  • Stachybotrys

While microorganisms typically are of little danger to a healthy person and cannabis has natural anti-microbial properties, many patients want to avoid ingestion of yeasts, molds, and bacteria due to the condition of their immune system or simply because high levels can be unsafe.

If that is not enough incentive, an additional benefit of a microbial culture allows even healthy patients to assess the quality of the growing, processing, and storage of their medicine.