If you’re in the cannabis industry, then it’s likely that microbial testing is a common term in your vocabulary. Specifically, testing for microbials in marijuana refers to the identification and restriction of dangerous microorganisms, such as pathogens, bacteria, yeast, E.coli, Aspergillus, and their byproducts.
Like any agricultural product, cannabis is susceptible to microorganisms that could potentially harm consumers. In fact, in 2017, approximately 15% of all commercially grown flower had microbial contamination. By 2020, this is projected to be a $3 billion problem.
It goes without saying how dangerous—even lethal—it could be to have food and/or environmental products and process tainted with pathogens, bacteria, yeast, E.coli, and Aspergillus. The same health factors are compounded with cannabis. Immuno-compromised patients rely on safe and pure cannabis for treatments. In addition, when cannabis is smoked, it enters the bloodstream quicker and this can intensify the effects of the contaminants. Even dead organisms may trigger allergies and asthma.
All things considered, being prepared to address contamination is necessary for not only the safety of your consumers, but also the health of your business.
Identifying Contamination Sources
While cultivators strive to keep growing conditions clean, there will always be some levels of microbials in marijuana. It is, after all, a plant, susceptible to mites and mold like any other organism. The growing phase isn’t the only time when cannabis plants can become contaminated. Cannabis can become contaminated during harvesting or drying process if it is stored in a place that is too wet or humid.
There is also the risk of cross-contamination being brought from outside. As shift changes occur and people move in-and-out of grow rooms, foreign material is tracked throughout a facility, and given enough time, a problem will arise. This is why we always recommend wearing sanitary clothing when handling the plant at vulnerable points in its lifecycle.
To complicate this further, the acceptable level of these contaminants varies from state to state, leading to confusion for cultivators, particularly those that operate in multiple states. Until there’s more uniformity, it is important to become knowledgeable about how to limit microbials in marijuana in order to pass the testing – no matter where you operate.
A Path Forward: How to Pass Microbial Testing
WillowPure, the most reliable cannabis-specific solution on the market today, is a unique ozone-based technology that reduces yeast, mold, bacteria, Aspergillus, E.Coli, and Salmonella, while simultaneously protecting the medicinal properties of the plant. As a result, only a product that is one hundred percent safe for consumers is delivered.
The process is simple, too. Plug the WillowPure into any standard outlet, allow for a 15-minute warm-up period, load the food-grade plastic mesh trays evenly with your product, push the cannabis racks into the machine, shut the door, and press start. WillowPure removes about 50% of the microbials in marijuana within the first hour of treatment.
To date, Willow Industries has saved cultivators more than $50 million in revenue and has treated more than 17,000 pounds of cannabis. And that number grows everyday. Willow Industries currently operates in 10 states – Colorado, California, Nevada, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, Delaware, Florida, Massachusetts and Hawaii.
To find out more information about WillowPure, contact a Willow Industries sales rep.