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Extraction of Pesticides from Cannabis

February 7, 2019
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The need for accurate testing of cannabis and cannabis based products is critical as more states approve recreational and medical marijuana use each year. Samples from flower to edibles, to consumer products and more, present challenges in both sample preparation and analysis, with pesticide analysis among the most challenging. In this application note, we propose the EDGE® as a method for the extraction of pesticides from cannabis. With its patent pending Q-Cup Technology™, the EDGE can extract pesticides from cannabis, including the dispersive solid phase cleanup, in less than one 7-minute automated step.



Every year, more and more consumers want to know what is in the products they are purchasing, particularly anything that could be harmful, such as pesticides. Pesticides are potentially toxic to humans and can lead to acute and chronic health effects due to bioaccumulation. There is a driving need for pesticide analysis, and the list of pesticides regulated throughout the world continues to increase, particularly in the rapidly growing world of cannabis. The QuEChERS method is a widely accepted method to extract pesticides from food matrices; however, it has not proven to be suitable for pesticides extraction from cannabis. Pesticide analysis of cannabis is a challenge due to the large number of pesticides to monitor, the low method detection limits, and difficult cannabis matrix. There is a need for a simple and efficient method for the extraction of pesticides from cannabis that yields high recoveries and repeatable results.

The EDGE offers that simplicity and efficiency by containing the sample and sorbents together in one sample cell, leading to extraction and cleanup in one step. In under 7 minutes, the sample is extracted and the collected extract is filtered, cooled and ready for analysis. Each EDGE method includes rinsing of the sample to increase recovery efficiency and washing of the system to eliminate carryover risk. EDGE offers the fastest automated pesticide extraction possible in one simple method.