ASTM International’s D37 committee has approved its first two cannabis standards—which both concern aspects of moisture in cannabis.
According to members of the committee, cannabis is generally sold by weight, with a large measure of its quality determined by the amount of moisture it contains. The soon to be published D8196 standard provides a procedure to determine the water activity in a cannabis sample, whereas D8197 will determine the range of water activity suitable for safe and effective storage of a cannabis flower sample.
Committee member Jon DeVries, CEO of DeVries and Associates, notes that these cannabis standards will allow for more efficient study of the volatility of hydrocarbons within the essential oils of cannabis called terpenes.
“Incorporating these standards avoids the very real problem the industry experiences in which flower specimens are sent to a lab for testing, creating a time lag in which the batch from which the sample came is drying out,” DeVries said. He adds that the batch continues to dry as it is being packaged and made available to patients and others, resulting in a cannabis and terpene profile that no longer accurately reflects test results.
DeVries added that the new cannabis standards could help producers avoid this situation in industry efforts to promote product safety.
The committee encourages interested parties to participate in its standards developing activities. The committee will next meet on June 24-26 in San Diego, California.