The role of cannabis flower sampling in quality control in medical cannabis industry: a review

Angelova, Slavica and Gjorgjeska, Biljana (2022) The role of cannabis flower sampling in quality control in medical cannabis industry: a review. Knowledge-International Journal, 53 (5). pp. 683-686. ISSN 2545-4439


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: Representative samples are selected to accurately reflect the larger group and should represent the characteristics of the group as a whole. Ideally representative samples are homogeneous or similar in nature, but when that is not possible the best attempts must be made to achieve samples that represent the majority of the characteristics of the larger grouping. The purpose of the cannabis flower sampling procedure is to outline best practices for the sampling of regulated cannabis for analysis by a medical or retail cannabis testing facility. It is meant to provide the cannabis testing facility with samples representative of the harvest batch. The cannabis grower has limited guidance to refer to for managing operations, sampling, and testing. There is also difficulty in the fact that cannabis is a very complex plant. There have been more than 500 compounds identified in cannabis. The distribution of these compounds is highly dependent on individual strains, the gender of the plant, and the location on the plant. The distribution and concentration of these compounds can also be effected by environmental conditions such as soil, water, and light. To further complicate the analysis of chemicals in cannabis is the fact that different amounts of compounds can occur in different locations within the plant. In some cases it has been reported that higher tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations are found in buds located high on the plant as opposed to buds located lower in the plant. Sampling of cannabis brings into question how much and what type of sample is enough to conduct representative sample testing, and what are the criteria for sample homogeneity. Many sample preparation and test methods depend on the foundation of representative samples and homogeneity to provide accurate results. If sampling schematics are not designed to ensure representation and homogeneity of the entire crop through to the final analytical sample, then the testing will be biased. A sample is a small part of something which represents a larger whole or grouping. It is important to look at sampling from the grow through to the laboratory to examine where the focus and perspective should be to ensure that cannabis sampling at every stage of the process represents the whole we are trying to characterize. For the cannabis industry, the population or sampling frame could be as large as an entire crop, just one variety within an operation, or as small as selected trimmed buds from specific plants, varieties, or just areas of growth, depending on the purpose for the sampling. There are two basic types of sampling: probability sampling (random) and nonprobability sampling. Probability sampling is when each unit of a population or a whole has the same chance of being selected to make up a sample and the probability of being selected can be calculated. Nonprobability sampling is when samples are collected in a process where some samples are purposely selected and the selection processes do not give all the possible samples an equal chance of selection. By its very nature, dried plant material is not particularly homogeneous. In sampling methods, where the sample being tested is a high-value commodity, sample size matters, and laboratories are often tasked with preparing smaller samples to meet all the testing demands. Small samples, however, increase potential bias and error unless it can be reasonably assured that the samples are homogeneous. The most common method for obtaining a homogeneous sample is grinding or comminution. Grinding samples has many benefits for sample preparation since it increases homogeneity, increases surface area, and decreases particle size, which improve extraction efficiency. The second area where cryogenic applications to sample preparation can aid in laboratory analysis is in the stability of materials and the retention of important labile or volatile compounds or elemental species. In the end, the development of sampling plans-sample preparation methods that understand the importance of these concepts-will ultimately be the most important step in achieving good analyses.
Keywords: sampling plan, representative samples, homogeneity, grinding, cannabis flower.
Field: Medical sciences and Health.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Medical and Health Sciences > Health sciences
Medical and Health Sciences > Other medical sciences
Divisions: Faculty of Medical Science
Depositing User: Biljana Gorgeska
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2022 10:12
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2022 10:12

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