Is lab tested cannabis worth the cost?

Is lab tested cannabis worth the cost?

In today’s economy, many wonder why they should spend their hard-earned money on laboratory-tested cannabis.

What distinguishes the cannabis products available in legitimate dispensaries from those found on the underground market?

The answer lies in the rigorous safety standards and quality assurances that accompany regulated cannabis products.

The Risks of Unregulated Cannabis

Untested cannabis can pose significant health risks to consumers. Researchers from Health Canada reported in a study published in the Journal of Cannabis Research that of the 26 illicit cannabis flower samples they analyzed 92% were positive for banned pesticides. Only 6% were positive from the legal samples they tested. The legal samples were sourced from licensed dispensaries. The New York Medical Cannabis Association did their own study and found that 40% of unlicensed cannabis contained contaminants such as E. coli, lead, and nickel.

The Importance of Laboratory Testing

Cannabis products sold in Missouri’s legal market must undergo rigorous testing by accredited ISO 17025:2017 laboratories. These labs employ state-of-the-art equipment to analyze cannabis products before they reach consumers. Testing processes screen for harmful bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella, heavy metals including lead and arsenic, and solvents like benzene. In fact, over 100 different tests are conducted to ensure the safety and purity of these products.

Ensuring Accuracy and Integrity in Testing

Accuracy and integrity in laboratory testing are crucial for consumer safety. While state regulations require labs to maintain accuracy, the responsibility largely falls on the labs themselves to ensure precise results. To uphold these standards, labs must implement several key practices:

Proficiency Testing: Labs must participate in state-mandated proficiency tests to validate their testing capabilities.

Statistical Process Control: This involves evaluating each testing method using statistical analysis to identify trends and potential issues in the measurement process.


Qualified Staff: Hiring competent staff with backgrounds in lab testing ensures that testing procedures are carried out correctly and reliably.

Method Validation: All testing methods must be thoroughly validated before use to confirm their accuracy and reliability.

Commitment to Ethical Testing Practices

Missouri currently has 10 licensed labs in the state to carry out the tests needed to get cannabis to consumers. For a state with a population of just over 6 million there is inevitably competition amongst the labs. Labs such as GCA Labs are committed to delivering accurate results, even if it means sacrificing potential growth opportunities. This ethical stance sets a high standard for all cannabis testing labs, ensuring that consumer safety remains the top priority.

The Cost of Safety

While lab-tested cannabis might come at a higher price, it is a worthwhile investment for several reasons:

Health Protection: Ensuring that cannabis products are free from harmful contaminants protects consumers’ health.

Quality Assurance: Rigorous testing guarantees that consumers receive high-quality, effective products.

Legal Compliance: Purchasing from legal dispensaries supports the regulated market and helps to diminish the underground market.

In conclusion, spending money on laboratory-tested cannabis is not just about complying with regulations; it’s about safeguarding your health and ensuring the quality of the products you consume. The rigorous testing protocols and ethical practices upheld by accredited labs provide peace of mind and protection that unregulated products simply cannot match. Investing in lab-tested cannabis is a decision that prioritizes safety, quality, and well-being.