An International Cannabis Committee Debuts Four New Standards for Cannabis Testing

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Earlier this month, Committee D37 on Cannabis, a committee within ASTM International, released descriptions of their four new standards for cannabis testing and who they will benefit within the industry.

In a recent announcement by ASTM International, their cannabis committee, called ASTM Committee D37 on Cannabis, approved four new standards intended to benefit workers in the cannabis industry as well as regulators and consumers (1). Laboratories, producers, manufacturers, cultivators, extractors, and researchers are also expected to benefit from one or more of the standards as well.

The four new standards from Committee D37 are as follows (1):

  • The first standard, also called D8375, will provide a method to establish cannabinoid content in cannabis and hemp samples. This standard will help with proper labelling of products and may also be used in forensics laboratories for analysis of illegal samples to confirm cannabinoid content and to support further cannabinoid research, according to ASTM International member Garnet McRae.
  • A second standard, D8399, will help laboratories in analyzing cannabis and hemp samples to establish pesticide concentration levels to ensure products meet regulatory requirements within appropriate jurisdictions. McRae noted that this will help to address health and safety concerns as well as labelling and regulatory requirements for consumable cannabis products.
  • The third standard, D8442, will provide a method to test for terpenes and cannabinoids using gas chromatography (GC). According to ASTM International member Randall Shearer, this standard will assist in quality control for cannabis and ensure safety and consistency of cannabis and hemp products.
  • The final standard, D8469, provides a method through inductively coupled plasma-mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) that will be used for detecting dangerous metals such as arsenic, cadmium, mercury, and lead in cannabis. The ASTM cannabis committee is planning a full inter-laboratory study of the standard later in 2022.

As stated in their news posting (1), ASTM International is a not-for-profit nongovernmental organization that develops voluntary consensus standards. They reportedly defer to appropriate government authorities to determine the legal and regulatory framework regarding the control and use of cannabis (1).

According to the ASTM website (2), Committee D37 was formed in 2017 and focuses on developing voluntary consensus standards and supplementary programs on proficiency testing, training, and certification. Subcommittees focus on the development of test methods, practices and guides for cultivation, quality assurance, laboratory considerations, industrial hemp, devices, packaging, and security. The Committee has nine technical subcommittees to develop and maintain standards and has 900 members from 30 countries.