Plants are best known for their medicinal properties, and since ancient times, they have played a vital role in curing diseases and injuries. Medicinal plants release secondary metabolites such as alkaloids, phenolic compounds, terpenoids, and flavonoids that aid in the treatment of infection, prevent diseases, and serve as pain relievers. One such plant that holds medicinal value is Cannabis sativa, which has been in practice for pain management for decades. Cannabis contains chemicals such as delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), which are commonly used for nerve pain management, migraine treatment, and multiple sclerosis.
Earlier, cannabis was illegal in many countries because of its high potential for drug abuse. However, state policies have been made on the use of cannabis for pain management in chemotherapies and cancer patients. Cannabis contains volatile compounds and contaminants such as heavy metal that can lead to deterioration of the final product.
Several countries have their own regulatory requirements regarding use of cannabis for disease treatment. Being a potential drug abusing component, it is vital to do cannabis potency tests to meet with regulatory compliance of the states across US as well as countries to use the drug for the treatment. After the legalization of cannabis for medicinal purposes, several key players have shown their keen interest in finding quality standard methodologies while adhering to the legal regulatory scenarios.
Beneath the innovative technology and advancement in quality management processes, the cannabis testing market is flourishing.
What is Cannabis Testing and Its Importance?
Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a phytoremediation plant and contains volatile compounds such as myrcene, TCH, CBD, terpenes, and limonene that are difficult to extract. It can easily absorb the contaminants, including pesticides and heavy metals present in the soil, it is essential to perform cannabis testing to meet quality standards. Techniques such as High-Performance Liquid Chromatography and Gas chromatography have been in practice to identify the cannabinoids and quantify them. Medical marijuana testing is also done for quality analysis to ensure that the drug is safe for human consumption and therapy purposes.
Cannabis Testing Market Landscape: Does it Grow In Future?
With the legalization of medical cannabis at the global level, the cannabis testing market is expected to grow at a CAGR of ~22%, according to Roots Analysis. However, the cannabis testing labs have to adhere to the regulatory protocols to ensure that the drug is safe to use for therapeutic purposes. Even though medical cannabis has been legally adopted for pain management treatment, the standardized testing protocols are still not synchronized across the laboratories because of lack of validation tests.
At the same time, a standard safety protocol has to be followed for the cultivation of the cannabis crop and manufacturing of the drug. Each stage of production, a standard cannabis potency test has to be conducted to ensure crop is completed by considering regulations set by the states. However, the prohibition of techniques and stringent regulations for quality analysis of cannabis create difficulty for the manufacturers to extract the compounds.
Emerging Trends in Cannabis Testing Market That Helps to Overcome Challenges
The cannabis testing market has begun to flourish with advancements in technology along with the integration of quality software management processes. Several players engaged in cannabis testing service market are adapting novel techniques such as UV spectrometric analysis and chromatographic methods to perform analytical assays and quantification of cannabinoids. Some examples of emerging trends in the cannabis testing market that help industrial leaders overcome the challenges mentioned above include;
- Improved Cultivation Technology
Cannabis plants require a highly optimized environment for growth. If the environment is not favorable for the cultivation, the crop doesn’t provide flowers, which are the main source of cannabinoids. Thus, the cannabis testing lab market may introduce fine-tuned cultivation technology that helps to yield crops successfully. With the increasing demand for cannabis products, companies will integrate more techniques that help to strike a balance between water content, electrical conductivity, humidity, and CO2 levels. Furthermore, cultivators will also involve advanced distribution methods such as ERP (Enterprise Resolution Solutions) that help to reduce operational costs. Technologies such as hydroponic systems and vertical farming allow cultivators to grow crops without causing harm to the environment.
- Integration of Heavy Metal Testing Methods
The cannabis plant is a photoactive plant that can easily absorb potential contaminants, such as heavy metals present in the soil. The heavy metals hinder the extraction process and may affect the quality of products such as THC, CBD, and other volatile compounds. As a result, cannabis potency testing market leaders are integrating heavy metal testing procedures to ensure the safety of drugs for medical purposes. With the involvement of advanced testing solutions, the cannabis testing market is expected to grow in upcoming years.
- Increasing Adoption of Advance Quality Testing Procedure
Cannabis testing labs have to follow regulatory protocols to meet quality standards and also for validation of safety regarding drug usage. The integration of High-pressure liquid chromatography, spectrophotometer, and gas chromatography helps with cannabinoids and THC analysis, which is preferred as the legalized cannabis potency testing procedure. It offers precise analysis and helps to maintain purification standards that are needed to provide quality assurance. Driven by the adoption of highly efficient testing procedures, the market is expected to grow at an exponential rate in the future.
- Increasing Use of Cannabis to Treat Medical Conditions
Medical cannabis has compounds such as THC and CBD that help in the treatment of rare conditions. Doctors may prescribe medicinal marijuana during the treatment of chronic pain that occurs during chemotherapy, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, and palliative care. It also helps to relieve pain that occurs due to nervous system damage.
Who Are the Top Cannabis Testing Market Leaders?
The introduction of cutting-edge technology and safety regulation procedures helps to expand cannabis testing. With the widespread adoption of cannabis in medicinal practice, several key cannabis testing lab players engage in the growing market. Examples of some marketing leaders include:
▪ Abko Labs
▪ ACT Laboratories
▪ BelCosta Labs
▪ CDX Analytics
▪ Medicinal Genomics
Where will the Cannabis Testing Market Go in the Future?
As technology advances, market players find innovative solutions for the research and development of cannabis products. With the potential therapeutic significance of cannabinoids such as CBG and CBD, we are anticipating that the cannabis testing market will expand in the future and provide quality drugs to treat a wide range of chronic diseases and rare conditions, including anxiety relief, pain management, and some more serious diseases.
About Roots Analysis
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