Cannabis testing is done for various purpose such as finding concentration of active ingredient (cannabinoids, terpene), which determines the medical potency of the cannabis. It is also tested for determining various other ingredient in given sample. For instance, to determine the pesticide residue content in the given sample that undermines the purity and efficacy. Cannabis testing also involves determination of contaminants such as fungi and bacteria (mycotoxins), which could causes serious pulmonary infections if administered unchecked.
Key players operating in the cannabis testing market include Shimadzu Corporation, Agilent Technologies, Inc., Thermo Fisher Scientific, Inc., PerkinElmer, Inc., Millipore Sigma, AB SCIEX LLC, Cannabix Technologies, Inc., Waters Corporation, Steep Hill Labs, Inc., CannaSafe Analytics, Accelerated Technology Laboratories, Inc., LabLynx, Inc., SC Laboratories Inc., GenTech Scientific, Pharm Labs, LLC, and Digipath Labs, Inc.
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Furthermore, cannabis testing comprises determination of trace metals such as cadmium, arsenic, leads and mercury over cannabis plants and products, which could impart adverse effect to human health. Three species of cannabis are present, each has different concentration of active ingredient (cannabinoids and terpene), which leads to risk of cannabis adulteration with cannabis species having lower amount of active ingredient. Therefore in such cases cannabis testing would be beneficial to find the authenticity of given specimen.
Overall cannabis testing process involves sample and column preparation, identification of analyte, determining concentration, and separating the analyte. Various analytical techniques majorly used to test the cannabis are Liquid Chromatography (LC) / High Performance Liquid Chromatography (HPLC), Gas Chromatography (GC), Thin Layer Chromatography (TLC), ELISA kits, and Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Cannabis testing products also involves breathe analyzer and other instruments to check concentration of tetrahydrocannabinol when consumed illegally. Tetrahydrocannabinol is psychoactive ingredient.
The global cannabis testing market size was valued at US$ 926.3 million in 2017, and is expected to witness a CAGR of 13.2% over the forecast period (2018 – 2026).
Legalization of cannabis for medicinal and recreational activity to drive growth of the cannabis testing market
Increasing approval of medicinal cannabis products along with extensive research and development activities in the medical cannabis market are expected to support growth of the cannabis testing market.
Cannabis testing market is projected to witness positive growth during the forecast period, owing to the requirement of desired active ingredient detection and undesired trace elements (mycotoxins and trace metals) before utilizing cannabis product for medicinal and recreational purpose. Increased trend of using cannabis for recreational purpose would be another major impetus for simultaneous rise in cannabis testing market.
In 2012, only two states in the U.S. had legalized recreational use of cannabis however by 2017, seven more states legalized recreational use of cannabis. In January 2018, use of cannabis for recreational purpose initiated in California which resulted in tourist attraction in California and in turn it also doubled the cannabis cultivation assessing business opportunity.
Increased approval for cannabis-based drugs and new product launches for cannabis testing are expected to propel growth of the cannabis testing market
Various cannabis manufacturer across globe are focused on introducing the cannabis products to target various disease, which in turn is expected to promote application of cannabis testing instruments, as this products need to be approved from the health regulatory bodies for their efficacy and purity. For instance, in May 2018, the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the medication, called Epidiolex manufactured by GW Pharmaceuticals to treat two rare forms of epilepsy caused by Lennox-Gastaut and Dravet syndromes in patients two years and older.
Companies are launching innovative, precise, and efficient analytical platform for cannabis testing, which is expected to fuel market growth. For instance, Agilent Technologies Inc. in 2017, introduced a high-resolution, accurate gas chromatography mass system named as Agilent 7250 GC/Q-TOF system, which combines gas chromatography and quadrupole time-of-flight mass spectrometry with a Low Energy Electron Ionization source enabling high exploration of unknown chemical samples.
High cost of analytical instruments for testing cannabis is one of the factors restraining growth of the market. Furthermore, there are no standards for various residue and unwanted material in cannabis such as pesticide residue, heavy metal, and mycotoxin, which results into inauthenticity of test results given by different cannabis testing laboratories. Click To Read More On Cannabis Testing Market