top of page

Testing Principles

Back To Top

Your test kit includes the following three tests:

Aerobic

Aerobic Count

 

This test, referred to as “AC” (Aerobic Count), shows you the total number of bacteria, yeasts and molds that are in the material you are testing.  It doesn’t tell you what these microorganisms are, but only how many (e.g., per gram).

 

The AC test is an excellent tool for measuring the microbiological quality of the in-process material of your cannabis product.  For example, you can use this test to measure the quality of your raw material (e.g., flower) prior to formulation of your edible.  This will save you time and money!

 

Your State may have a specification for AC for final (“finished”) cannabis products.  If so, once you read your test result and find that it exceeds your State’s AC specification, you may wish to consider remedial measures.  Such measures may include discarding your product or reprocessing it using heat or filtration.  A temperature equal to or greater than 80˚C (175˚F) will kill most microorganisms.  Filtration using filters of a very small pore size (0.5-1.0 micrometers) will remove most microorganisms.

^ Back to top

Yeast and Mold Count

Yeast and Mold Count

 

This test, referred to as “YM” (Yeast and Mold), shows you the total number of yeasts and molds that are in the material you are testing.  Unlike the AC test, it is designed to exclude bacteria.  But like the AC test, it doesn’t tell you what these yeasts and molds are, but only how many (e.g., per gram).

 

Like the AC test, YM is an excellent tool for measuring the microbiological quality of the in-process material of your cannabis product.

 

This is an important test!  Cannabis is prone to mold contamination.  Most States require that cannabis products be free of molds such as Aspergillus.  Why?  When molds grow, they produce a by-product called “mycotoxins”.  Mycotoxins are a group of dangerous neurotoxins, including aflatoxin and ochratoxin.  You will likely see these listed on your State’s specification.  While the YM test is not itself a test for these mycotoxins, a high YM result may indicate that your cannabis product is contaminated with mycotoxins.  If the YM test shows little to no mold, it is very likely that your product does not contain mycotoxins.

^ Back to top

Enterobacteriaceae Count

Enterobacteriaceae Count

 

Enterobacteriaceae (pronounced “en-ter-o-bac-tier-ee-ay-see-ay”) is included in your kit as an Enterobacteriaceae Count Plate (EB) test.  Enterobacteriaceae include a broad group of microorganisms, including:

  • E. coli

  • Salmonella

  • Coliforms

  • BTGN (Bile-Tolerant Gram-Negative)

 

You may see Enterobacteriaceae or any of these microorganisms listed on your State’s specification.

 

Like the AC and YM tests, the Enterobacteriaceae test doesn’t tell you what the specific microorganisms are, but only how many.  For example, if your test shows the presence of Enterobacteriaceae, that may mean you have E. coli, Salmonella, Coliforms and/or BTGN in your cannabis product.  While you may not know specifically what microorganism(s) are in your product, it is wise to not take a chance, and to implement remedial measures as described previously under AC.

 

Be sure to visit “Important Info” for a description of this test’s limitations.

^ Back to top

bottom of page