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Moisture Analysis for the Cannabis Industry

September 4, 2019
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Introduction


The cannabis industry has undergone unprecedented growth in recent years, due to rapidly changing laws and a general shift in public perception. With federal approval of hemp production, as well as medical or recreational marijuana legalization in a majority of US states, the cannabis market is expected to continue to grow. Rapid changes in legal status means standardized quality and safety testing is continuously evolving. Tests commonly required by state and local regulations include pesticide residue, potency (THC and CBD), heavy metal analysis. Moisture testing is relevant to plant materials as well as value-add products, such as edibles. If moisture levels are too high in plant material, such as flower, there is a risk of mold, which can have negative health impacts on users, particularly if the product is smoked. For edible products, shelf life, flavor, texture, and processability are all affected by moisture content.

 

The SMART Q moisture analyzer is uniquely designed to accurately measure low moisture levels, common in raw and processed cannabis products. With a highly accurate 4-place analytical balance and 3-digit moisture readout, the SMART Q provides reliable, repeatable results in approximately five minutes. The SMART Q uses direct sample temperature feedback and active cavity ventilation to dry samples faster than any other infrared moisture analyzer and requires no cavity preheat.


This study demonstrates that the SMART Q can rapidly analyze a wide range of cannabis products for moisture with an average difference of 0.07%, compared to air oven reference results.