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Universalizing Cannabis Consumer Safety Standards

Flickr @ Martijn

When you buy a bottle of ibuprofen to treat your headache, you know there is a safety standard in place behind what you’re taking. You know exactly the amount of medication you’re ingesting and exactly what the side effects of the medication could be. This is true for all pharmaceutical medications, but not so much for cannabis. Some cannabis professionals are seeking to change this in the near future, however, to help encourage wider acceptance of using the medication and remove some of the age-old stigmas.

With the ever-evolving growth of the cannabis industry, cannabis analysis and testing labs are popping up in legal states like Colorado and Washington. Consumer safety standards are an issue that highly impacts the cannabis industry as a whole, as more and more patients want to know exactly what they’re getting, and want to ensure that they’ll be getting the same thing next time.

Because of the cutthroat, competitive nature of the growing commercial cannabis market, cannabis testing labs must understand the science behind sampling methods in order to differentiate between the facts and the bunk. Of course, every street level weed dealer claims that they have the best stuff. Even though their non-violent legal counterparts are much more legit and honest, personal bias does creep in from time to time. Because of this, objectivity is imperative when testing cannabis.

When purchasing cannabis flowers, most often, you don’t get to touch or taste the products before you purchase them. So in a lot of cases, you’ll have to take the budtenders word for it. While some medical dispensaries and recreational locations will sell you lower quality products, most take pride in their integrity and customer service standards.

Scientific testing and consumer safety is different for that of flowers compared to edibles or concentrates. Because more is known and understood about flowers, consumers can usually expect higher quality standards for flowers. As usual, with fewer restrictions come better testing, studying and advancement in the industry. Within the next few years, edibles and concentrates will catch up with the quality standards for flowers.

Because cannabis is still illegal at the federal level, agencies such as the FDA will obviously not approve cannabis medications. While some might argue that’s a good thing, others desire a safety standard that can be universalized for all patients.

What are your thoughts on cannabis consumer safety standards? Let us know in the comment section!


  1. Quality cannot be tested into a product, it must be built into a product at every step of the manufacturing process. While testing is an important part of any quality assurance program, it is only one aspect – and a reactive one at that. It is the implementation of Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines, like FOCUS standards, that will make the most impact to improving quality and safety in the cannabis industry.