In a recent article for Analytical Cannabis, science writer Alexander Beadle delves into naturally occurring sources of contamination in cannabis, their associated health risks and the range of tests used to meet varying state regulations for mycotoxins.
Beadle points out that, “The cultivation conditions for cannabis plants create an ideal environment for the growth of molds and fungi, which, if allowed to proliferate, can begin to produce chemical mycotoxins.” She goes on to explain the serious impacts these toxins can have, from liver and kidney damage to cancer.
Atlantic Test Lab’s Microbiology Lab Manager, Amanda Horodyski is quoted several times throughout the piece, lending her expertise to help the author explain the potential dangers and the advanced equipment and methods that Atlantic Test Labs employs to perform highly accurate mycotoxin testing.
“Atlantic Test Labs uses an ultra-performance liquid chromatography – tandem mass spectrometer (UPLC-MS/MS) method to identify and quantify mycotoxins,” tells Amanda Horodyski. She explains this equipment allows for extreme accuracy (to “levels as low as parts per trillion) as well as faster processing.
The author adds, “However, high-tech chromatography equipment is expensive, and it requires highly trained staff to operate it and interpret its results. This can be a large hurdle to overcome for smaller testing laboratories or new start-ups which may not have the capital to be able to purchase the equipment and employ expert staff.”