Like other plants, cannabis is exposed to bacteria and fungi during cultivation. Exposure to microbial contaminants like Hop Latent Viroid (HpLVd) and Aspergillus can lead to loss of product, profitability and even expose consumers to health problems, especially in those with pre-existing medical conditions. As a result, microbial testing in cannabis has become a requirement across most states with legal markets. Although the regulations vary from state to state, Compliance Packages usually require a variety of tests, including total yeast and mold or select mold species identification, Salmonella (<1 colony forming unit [CFU]/g), toxigenic E. coli (<1 CFU/g), total aerobic plate count, total enteric count, as well as other specific bacterial contaminants. However, depending on the product type and the end consumer for which the product is destined, microbial testing is absolutely necessary. As a result, states have required that all cannabis used for Stage 1 Inhalable Cannabis and Stage 2 Inhalable Cannabis Products meet these requirements.
Hop Latent Viroid (HpLVd) or dudding disease: As the name suggests, Hop Latent Viroid (HpLVd) was first identified in hops. Infected hemp plants (Cannabis sativa) may or may not manifest any apparent symptoms. Viroids are the smallest known pathogens of row crops and fruit trees. Like some plant pathogenic viruses, viroids are single-stranded RNA molecules; however, viroids are smaller in size and are not encapsulated. Symptoms include stunted growth, reduced vigor, brittle stems with less flower mass and stunted trichomes. This disease is commonly known as dudding. Deibel Bioscience is equipped to test high volumes of seeds and plant material for HpLVd with high throughput molecular testing to ensure rapid turnaround times. To serve your needs, our plant pathologists have developed assays to test multiple diseases along with HpLVd simultaneously.
Aspergillus: The testing for the four pathogenic Aspergillus species is very new; there are a small and limited number of commercially available test kits validated for Cannabis products. The best on the market are genetic based systems called Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) that can detect all four pathogenic species at one time, with additional confirmation testing required to determine the exact species. Deibel Laboratories PCR testing and Compliance Packages combined with Environmental Monitoring Programs at your facility create a strong foundation for your company's compliance and safety program.