Medicinal cannabis products pass tough TGA testing

WRITTEN by SY

 | Last revised

Sep, 2021

If you’ve been following us for a while you’ll know we always bang on about the importance of independent lab reports for medicinal cannabis products.

They provide reliable and valuable information about quality, purity and strength, and it’s a great way for companies to provide transparency to consumers.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has recently released two reports detailing a list of medicinal cannabis products that have passed rigorous testing protocols.

These products are available by prescription through the TGA’s Special Access Scheme (SAS B).

We’ll explore what the parameters for testing are, but firstly let’s have a squiz at the products that have passed the testing process.

The first report states the below products have passed the TGA testing [1].

Cannatrek T15 Flower (Sativa Acadia) 15.0% THC Flos for Inhalation

Bedrocan Dried Cannabis Flos for Inhalation (22% THC OAB,2, < 1% CBD OAB)

Beacon Medical “THC+F” Dried Flower Bud (THC 20% w/w, <0.1% w/w CBD)

MEDCAN CC01 Dried Cannabis Flower (THC 22%, CBD 0.07%)

Tilray Whole Flower Dried Cannabis THC 25 (THC 25%, CBD NMT 0.5%)

Tilray THC10: CBD10 Whole Flower Dried Cannabis (THC9.9%, CBD9.6%)

The second report tested paediatric medicinal cannabis products for compliance against the TGO93 standard that specifies minimum quality requirements for medicinal cannabis products [2, 3]

Tilray 100 CBD Oral Solution (100mg/mL CBD)

Althea CBD100 (Cannabidiol 100mg/ml, Tetrahydrocannabidiol less than 1mg/mL)

CDA CBD-240 Oil (Cannabidiol 240mg/mL)

Entoura CBD 10 Oil (10% CBD, 100 mg/mL)

Entoura CBD 20 Oil (20% CBD, 200 mg/mL)

GD Cann-C (Cannabidiol 100mg/ml)

LGP Classic CBD 50 (50mg/mL CBD)

MP 100 (CBD 100mg/mL)

What toxins and chemicals are they testing products for?

Table of toxins and chemicals for testing

Aflatoxins

Aflatoxins are a group of toxins produced by certain fungi that are found on agricultural crops such as cannabis, maize (corn), peanuts, and tree nuts. The two prominent fungi that produce aflatoxins are Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus, and both are more prevalent in warm, humid climates. These fungi can infect crops at all stages of the life cycle.

Exposure to these toxins has been associated with an increased risk of liver cancer [4].

Heavy metals

Heavy metals are ubiquitous in our environment, polluting the food and water supply and even the air we breathe.

Exposure to high levels of heavy metals such as lead, mercury, arsenic and cadmium has been associated with a host of health issues such as thyroid and autoimmune conditions, chronic fatigue and headaches.

These health conditions can be caused, in part, by heavy metals [5].

Cannabis has a unique ability to efficiently absorb heavy metals from the soil which bioaccumulates in the plant [6].

Ochratoxin A

Ochratoxin A is a mycotoxin produced by fungal species such as Aspergillus ochraceus, A. carbonarius, A. niger and Penicillium verrucosum.

The effects of mycotoxins can appear quickly after eating contaminated food, but they have also been linked with immune deficiency disorders, cancers and can have a long-term impact on health [7].

Pesticides

These agrochemicals are used to protect crops from various diseases and infestations, however, they can also have a detrimental impact on human health.

You’ve probably heard about glyphosate AKA roundup and its link to cancer.

According to a recent study, glyphosate is considered to cause extreme disruption in the shikimate pathway, which is a pathway found in plants and bacteria as well as in human gut bacteria [8].

This is just one pesticide, there are many more used on agricultural crops.

Why is lab testing so important for companies?

Lab testing gives growers and manufacturer’s the ability to provide accurate chemical breakdowns of their products to consumers and businesses.

It also provides them with historical data to review and compare against for continuous improvement and product evolution.

Gaining consumer confidence is imperative for success, particularly for an industry that is relatively new to Australia and has faced a lot of unjust stigma.

Lab testing helps companies build credibility through transparency.

If we look at it from the perspective of the medical field, it’s important for doctors to know exactly what’s in medicine and that it will be consistent every time they prescribe it for a patient. This allows them to monitor patient outcomes based on a continuous source of truth.

Why is lab testing so important for consumers?

I’m going to make an assumption that you’re a health-conscious person who cares about what goes into and onto your body.

For the general public, having access to independent lab reports is like seeing the ingredient and nutritional panel on your food, it gives you insight into what you’re consuming and whether it’s good for you.

If you’re considering going down the medical pathway to access cannabis, it may be worthwhile mentioning these products to your doctor. The ongoing testing will provide an assurance of consistently high-quality products.

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References

1. , "Testing for toxins in medicinal cannabis products being supplied via SAS B in Australia".
Department of Health Therapeutic Goods Administration.
https://www.tga.gov.au/testing-toxins-medicinal-cannabis-products-being-supplied-sas-b-australia.
2. , "Conforming with Therapeutic Goods (Standard for Medicinal Cannabis) (TGO 93) Order 2017".
Department of Health Therapeutic Goods Administration.
https://www.tga.gov.au/sites/default/files/conforming-tgo-93-standard-medicinal-cannabis.pdf.
3. , "Testing of paediatric medicinal cannabis products being supplied via SAS in Australia".
Department of Health Therapeutic Goods Administration.
https://www.tga.gov.au/testing-paediatric-medicinal-cannabis-products-being-supplied-sas-australia.
4. , "Aflatoxins".
National Cancer Institute.
cancer.gov/about-cancer/causes-prevention/risk/substances/aflatoxins.
5. , "Is Your Diet Full of Heavy Metals? Here’s Why You Should Get Tested".
Dave Asprey.
https://daveasprey.com/heavy-metal-detox/.
6. , "Hemp Bioaccumulation: The Good and the Bad".
Sante Laboratories.
https://santelabs.com/2020/07/hemp-bioaccumulation-the-good-and-the-bad/.
7. , "Mycotoxins".
World Health Organisation.
https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/mycotoxins.
8. Polyxeni Nicolopoulou-Stamati et al., "Chemical Pesticides and Human Health: The Urgent Need for a New Concept in Agriculture".
NCBI: Frontiers in Public Health.
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4947579/.

2 Comments

  1. Les Dillon

    Will it help ins0mnia

    Reply
    • SY

      Hey Les, there are many studies that show medicinal cannabis products can positively impact sleep issues like insomnia. The very first time I tried CBD oil I had one of the best night’s sleep I’d had in ages. It’s different for every person, feel free to email us if you want some more info – info@hinterlandco.com.au

      Cheers,
      Sy

      Reply

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