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LABS/EXTRACTS/PROCESSING


Setting the Standards of Tomorrow

 

 

Vision

Pharmacology University aims to improve the transparency of cannabis product labeling; protect the public’s interest and bolster industry reputation.        

Cannabis consciousness at Pharmacology University

Everyone in the cannabis industry is accountable when it comes to ensuring consumer health and safety, including Pharmacology University.

State regulations continue to evolve and the need for the cannabis industry to act responsibly when producing and selling safe products regardless of being for medical or adult use is vital for general public acceptance.

Pharmacology University is an advocate of consumer health and safety. Through their certified cannabis testing program, Pharmacology University gives partners a level of transparency to support their commitment to product quality and safety.

Comprehensive cannabis testing – under one roof…

Pharmacology University is a leading provider of innovative cannabis testing technologies and methodologies. We perform product testing to help you stay compliant with state regulations; you can count on us to fulfill all your testing needs.

We provide comprehensive cannabis testing for potency, homogeneity, microbial contamination, aflatoxin/mycotoxins, residual solvents, heavy metals and pesticides.

Have a custom testing need? Or have a specific issue with your product? Pharmacology University has you covered.

The most accurate cannabis potency testing in the industry…

Pharmacology University leads the industry in methodologies that exceed mandated standards in applicable states.

We utilize Supercritical Fluid Chromatography (SFC) in conjunction with Ultra-High Performance Liquid Chromatography (uHPLC) that goes beyond  the testing abilities of older technologies and methodologies,to provide complete and accurate data from your product analysis.

Comprehensive Residual Solvent Testing Services

Pharmacology University provides residual solvent testing to ensure your concentrates (shatter, wax, hash oil, budder, etc.) are free of contaminates. Pharmacology University uses the latest technology and state-of-the-art instruments to deliver fast and accurate results that confirm your production processes are compliant.

Pharmacology University uses Headspace Gas Chromatography to quantify harmful solvents, impurities, or adulterants down to parts-per-million (PPM). Using our Gas Chromatograph with Flame Ionization Detector (GC-FID), means we provide the most comprehensive and accurate testing available.

Comprehensive Microbial Testing Services

Pharmacology University uses the most advanced and scientifically sophisticated microbial contaminant cannabis testing methodologies in the industry.

Pharmacology University surpasses many state requirements for microbial contaminant testing by looking for pathogens such as Clostridium or growth contaminants like black mold. We also offer a variety of testing options for the edible industry, including food safety testing as well as quality testing for growers.

Comprehensive Pesticide Testing Services

Pesticides commonly used in cannabis cultivation are potentially dangerous and pose health risks—the greatest danger occurring with chronic exposure to pesticide residue which is toxic at high levels and harmful at lower doses. Reassure your customers by testing your products for potentially harmful chemicals including insecticides, fungicides, plant growth regulators, and other compounds.

Our scientifically validated and comprehensive testing methods enable all screening to be completed on one instrument. Pharmacology University uses LC/MS/MS and/or orthogonal SFC/uHPLC to ensure the maximum number of pesticides are detected and positively identified.

Ensure your cannabis is free of biological contaminants

Pharmacology University understands the importance to you and your customers that the cannabis product they use has been tested. We are the nation’s leading provider of advanced testing for biological contamination such as aflatoxins, which are one of the most dangerous mycotoxins that occur as a byproduct of fungal growth on cannabis.

The warm, wet conditions ideal for growing cannabis are also conducive to the growth of molds and fungi, many which can’t be seen by the naked-eye, but are highly dangerous and carcinogenic. Using advanced antibody-based preparatory columns and a sophisticated mass spectrometric instrument, Pharmacology University separately quantifies all four aflatoxins and ochratoxin A.

Testing cannabis for aflatoxins is the only way to ensure your marijuana products are free of biological contaminants that can endanger and compromise the health of patients and consumers—and only Pharmacology University offers the infrastructure, technology, and compliance that growers, dispensaries, and consumers have come to trust.

Ensure your cannabis infused products are compliant…

The Marijuana Infused Products (MIPs) industry has seen significant and rapid growth recently. The creativity of manufacturers in finding ways to infuse products with cannabis for a broader appeal has been fascinating. The success of these products however, is dependent upon ensuring stability, consistency and meeting stringent health and safety testing mandates. Therefore, homogeneity testing is a key component to a product’s long-term success.

As the leading cannabis testing laboratory in the country, Pharmacology University is certified, licensed and equipped with the infrastructure to keep up with volume demands for homogeneity testing. Pharmacology University uses a validated potency process of Ultra-High Performance Liquid Chromatography (uHPLC), with some variations, for THC analysis.

We are committed to helping keep your cannabis infused products compliant with homogeneity and labeling regulations, while safe-guarding the cannabis community.

Extraction

A complex and potentially dangerous art – best left to the experts.

What are cannabis concentrates?

Cannabis concentrates (cannabis oil, budder, wax or shatter) are the cannabinoids of the cannabis plant that have been extracted using one of the many known extraction methods described below. They are significantly more potent than regular hashish or cannabis flowers and their applications as medicine have proven to be diverse and effective; however, the extraction of cannabis concentrates is a complex and potentially dangerous process – the methodology required for proper extraction is so precise that individuals who produce cannabis extracts of especially high quality are considered “extract artists.”

How are cannabis concentrates extracted?

The science of cannabis concentrate extraction functions on the solubility of the cannabinoids and other active ingredients of the cannabis plant. Cannabinoids are not water soluble, so to extract them properly the cannabinoids must be dissolved in a solvent.

What are solvents?

Solvents are the chemicals used to remove the cannabinoids from the cannabis plant. Butane, hexane, isopropyl alcohol and ethanol are all solvents that are commonly used in cannabis concentrate extraction. When cannabis flowers are submerged in these solvents, the cannabinoids, terpenes and other active ingredients are dissolved into the liquid solvent. The remaining solid plant matter is filtered out and the liquid solvent and cannabinoid mixture is purged to remove all solvents, leaving only cannabinoids and other active compounds of the cannabis plant.

Why is removal of solvents important?

Incredible scientific precision is required to properly remove all trace solvents from a cannabis concentrate. Any residual solvents can be harmful to patients, which is why Pharmacology University offers residual solvent testing to dispensaries and manufacturers who are concerned with compliance and the safety of their cannabis concentrates. Different extraction methods are used to create cannabis concentrates, all with varying degrees of effectiveness. The amount of active components extracted from cannabis, the potency of the concentrates, and their overall safety are all determined by the quality of an extract artist’s method.

What extraction solvents are utilized at Pharmacology University?

Non-hydrocarbons

Dry Sieve

The most naturally and unobtrusive form of cannabis extraction, often considered the holy grail of concentrates by true connoisseur, due to its low yield and the meticulous process involved in removing the cannabinoid containing trichomes from the plant matter.

  • There are many grades of dry sieve from “farmer sieve” containing plant contaminant, to what is often times referred to as “kief”, a mixture of glandular trichrome heads, stalks and plant material, up to “Full melt Dry Sieve” which generally contains just the trichome heads themselves.
  • There are multiple ways to achieve dry sieved products, but more often than not a single silk screen or series of silk screens can be utilized in conjunction with agitation to separate trichomes from the plant material creating a smokable, edible, or vaporizable cannabis concentrate.

Water

Very much like the dry sieve process, water can be used in conjunction with screens as a vessel to carry mechanically separated trichomes through multiple micron level screens. A micron is a microscopic unit of measurement used to calculate the size of the trichrome and thus the holes in the screens themselves.

  • Water hash, also termed “Iceolater”, “Bubblehash”, “Solvent-less”, “Ice Wax” and other names is made using agitation, generally from ice and motion, either done by hand or utilizing a washing machine to gently break off the trichrome heads from the plant material.
  • Water extracted products must be broken down and dried thoroughly before being consumed or there is the be possibility of mold and health risks due to improper storage.

CO 2

Arguably one of the least-toxic form of cannabis concentrate extraction, CO 2 (carbon dioxide) has become more popular as an extraction method because of its low environmental impact and nonexistent toxicity; however, CO 2 extraction systems are considerably more expensive than butane or hexane systems.

  •  CO2 functions as a solvent when it is heated or cooled and pushed through the flower at high (supercritical) or lower (subcritical) pressures. In fact, 95% of the cannabis extractions right now are done in the subcritical phase (below 3500psi).
  •  Most people tend to prefer subcritical CO2 extraction because it gives a lighter colored extract, fewer waxes and resins, and retains significantly more volatile oils compared to supercritical CO2 extraction; however, without the proper equipment rated for the proper pressures, creating quality CO2 extracted concentrates is incredibly difficult.

Pharmacology University has performed all types of testing for potency and residual solvents on CO 2 extracted cannabis concentrates with amazing results.

Isopropyl Alcohol

Isopropyl alcohol is a commonly used solvent for creating cannabis concentrates using a ‘quick wash’ method. Where hexane is not water soluble, isopropyl alcohol is highly water soluble and will dissolve undesired plant materials (chlorophylls and waxes) along with the sought after cannabinoids.

  • In order to eliminate plant waxes from the isopropyl concentrate solution, a quick wash method is used as opposed to soaking (which is with non-water soluble solvents like hexane).
  • Although the isopropyl method receives great reviews from patients and tasters, it takes significantly longer to properly purge isopropyl alcohol extracted concentrates due to the solubility in water.

Hydrocarbons

Butane & Propane

The most commonly used solvent in cannabis extraction is butane; however, a mixture of butane and propane has recently become very common as well. These solvents are nontoxic, non-polar and they dissolve oils very efficiently without creating other unwanted byproducts. Butane and propane dissolve all cannabinoids and terpenes (aromatics) with great effectiveness while preserving the integrity of the delicate cannabinoids.

  • These solvents are cost effective, meaning large amounts of money are not spent on supplies for extraction, but instead on growing quality cannabis to be extracted.
  • Thanks to their lower than room temperature boiling points, butane and propane are able to be ‘purged’ from a concentrate extraction. Note: hydrocarbon extraction is dangerous and should only be done in a proper lab setting.

Residual solvent testing with Pharmacology University can show you clearly if a particular sample of butane/propane-extracted cannabis concentrate was produced properly.

Hexane

Like butane, hexane is a solvent that can be used for cannabis concentrate extraction. Some interesting information: hexane is completely insoluble in water; it boils at a higher temperature than butane, and is extremely flammable and potentially explosive. Although the general process for hexane extraction is similar to that of butane extraction, it requires significantly more care due to the fact that hexane is toxic. Residual solvent testing with Pharmacology University is the safest way to ensure hexane-extracted cannabis concentrates are safe for patient consumption.

 

Contact Us at info@pharmacologyuniversity.com or call us at 817/528-2475

 


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